After flying from Yangon to Heho, I was picked up by my new guide at the airport for the drive to Kalaw. In town just before Kalaw we encountered a huge procession for the Tazaungdaing Festival. It is a procession in support of the local monastery. Different groups of people (ethnic, neighborhood, etc.) came together with their donations for the monastery and build large floats that carried their donations. It was everything you can thing of, pots and pans, blankets, food, detergent, money (put up on large money trees). This was a very impressive sight. This is done once per year, on the full moon in late October/early November, so I was lucky to see that.

In Kalaw, I spent the afternoon visiting various temples. The highlight was the Bamboo Temple and Monastery on a hill over Kalaw.

Trains seem to be very important in Myanmar. Several of my guides emphasized the train stations, and mentioned where the trains are going. Apparently they are a very important means of transportation.

In the evening we went to local concert, that was organized in connection with the celebrations around the procession. The music was not to my liking (loud rock/rap music), so I didn't stay long.

The next morning we drove to Inle Lake. On the way we got stuck in another procession, the traffic in the whole town almost came to a stand-still. It took us a while to find some side streets to get around it.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Tazaungdaing Festival

The procession took a long time to work its way down the road. I watched for almost an hour. The men in the procession were boisterous, quite a few seemed quite drunk. The women and children were dressed up and walked decorously.

Many of the groups had some bands that played drums and gongs of various sizes. All the bands were men-only. Occasionally, some of the groups would throw firecrackers around.

Most of the floats were carried by men, some were build on cars. The men who carried floats sometimes would get very boisterous, running, then circling around, rotating the float, etc.

It was quite a show. The procession continued the next day in a neighboring town, we got into that one the next day on our way to Inle Lake.

Women Girls Procession Very
Women and girls in the procession were very disciplined, walking single file. (1063k)
Boys Procession Carrying Bamboo
Boys in the procession, carrying bamboo poles with flags. (835k)
Men Boisterous Apparently Drunk
The men were boisterous, some of them apparently drunk. (854k)
Small Float Money Tree
Small float with a money tree. (830k)
Float Didn't Donations Monastery
This float didn't have donations for the monastery on it. (931k)
Float Loaded Household Items
This float was loaded with household items. (944k)
Don't Know Significance Float
I don't know what the significance of this float was, it didn't seem to have donations. (895k)
Large Float Household Goods
Large float with household goods on a small truck. (908k)
Float So Tall Bamboo
This float was so tall that the bamboo poles tangled with the power lines overhead. (954k)
Band Procession Drums Gongs
Band in the procession with drums and gongs. (1021k)
Drummer. (982k)
Large Gong Carried Two
Large gong, carried by two men. (737k)
Small Gong
Small gong. (714k)
Group Men Procession Singing
Group of men in the procession, singing and dancing. (973k)
Only Monk Saw Procession
This was the only monk I saw in the procession. (802k)
Young Women Procession All
Young women in the procession, all dressed up. (1001k)
Women Watching Over Children
Women watching over their children in the procession. (1011k)
Older Women Pao Tribe
Older women from the Pao tribe. (907k)
Woman Child
Woman with child. (956k)
Young Women Festive Dress
Young women in festive dress in the procession. Many of them carried these boxes, I assume they are gifts. (727k)
What a smile. (696k)
Teenage Boys Carrying Float
Teenage boys carrying a float. (614k)
Teenagers Pao Tribe
Teenagers from the Pao tribe. (871k)
Teenagers Procession
Teenagers in the procession. (958k)
Teenagers Pao Tribe
Teenagers from the Pao tribe. (759k)
Teenager Pao Tribe
Teenager from the Pao tribe. (703k)
Teenager Pao Tribe
Teenager from the Pao tribe. (688k)
Young Boys Procession
Young boys in the procession. (970k)
Young Boys Floats
Young boys on one of the floats. (942k)
Girls All Dressed Procession
Girls, all dressed up, in the procession. (1084k)
Girls All Dressed Gifts
Girls, all dressed up, with gifts in the procession. (798k)
Girls All Dressed Gifts
Girls, all dressed up, with gifts in the procession. (897k)
Girl Pao Tribe
Girl from the Pao tribe. (699k)
Young Girl All Dressed
Young girl all dressed up. (850k)
Young Girl All Dressed
Young girl all dressed up. (754k)
Celebrating Firecrackers
Celebrating with firecrackers. (755k)
Traffic Jam Caused Festival
Traffic jam caused by the festival. (738k)
Moving Festival Town
Moving the festival to another town. (856k)

Kalaw Train Station

Platform Kalaw Train Station
Platform at the Kalaw train station. (1033k)
Monks Waiting Train
Monks waiting for the train. (918k)
Drying Fish Bench Train
Drying fish on a bench in the train station. It smelled. (755k)
Arriving Train
Arriving train. (982k)
Vendors Passengers Mobbing Train
Vendors and passengers mobbing the train. (930k)
Food Vendor Train
Food vendor at the train. (764k)

Bamboo Pagoda and Monastery (Hnee Phaya)

Bamboo Pagoda
Bamboo Pagoda. (798k)
Statue Outside Bamboo Pagoda
Statue outside the Bamboo Pagoda. (715k)
Ceremonial Bell Bamboo Pagoda
Ceremonial bell at the Bamboo Pagoda. (754k)
Small Buddha Statue Bhumisparsha
Small Buddha statue with the Bhumisparsha Mudra outside the Bamboo Pagoda. (1060k)
Nuns Serving Tea Snacks
Nuns serving tea and snacks to visitors of the Bamboo Pagoda. (790k)
Display Donations Tazaungdaing Festival
Display with donations from the Tazaungdaing Festival. (787k)
Buddha Statue Bamboo Pagoda
Buddha statue in the Bamboo Pagoda. The statue is made of bamboo and gold plated. It is very light, one person can easily lift it. (995k)
Closer View Bamboo Buddha
Closer view of the Bamboo Buddha. (1133k)
Buddha Statue Bamboo Pagoda
Another Buddha statue in the Bamboo Pagoda, with the usual flashing lights behind it. (560k)
Reclining Buddha Bamboo Pagoda
Reclining Buddha in the Bamboo Pagoda. (737k)
Close-up Head Reclining Buddha
Close-up of the head of the reclining Buddha. (540k)
View Room Buddha's Footprint
View of the room with the Buddha's Footprint. Only men are allowed to approach it. (871k)
Buddha's Footprint
Buddha's Footprint. (766k)

Buddhist Temple in Kalaw

Like in many other temples, this temple had 8 prayer stations for the days of the week on which you were born (Wednesday has two, morning and afternoon). The day of the week on which a person was born is very important for Myanmar astrology. Each day of the week is associated with an animal.

Monday: Tiger
Tuesday: Lion
Wednesday morning: Elephant with tusks
Wednesday afternoon: Elephant without tusks
Thursday: Rat
Friday: Guinea pig
Saturday: Dragon
Sunday: Garuda (mythical bird)

People will worship at the station for their birthday.

Entrance Temple Kalaw
Entrance to a temple in Kalaw. (928k)
Temple Kalaw
Temple in Kalaw. (806k)
Statue Outside Temple Kalaw
Statue outside a temple in Kalaw. (757k)
Tiger Monday
Tiger (Monday). (824k)
Lion Tuesday
Lion (Tuesday). (850k)
Elephant Tusks Wednesday Morning
Elephant with tusks (Wednesday morning). (841k)
Elephant Without Tusks Wednesday
Elephant without tusks (Wednesday afternoon). (972k)
Rat Thursday
Rat (Thursday). (882k)
Guinea Pig Friday
Guinea Pig (Friday). (915k)
Dragon Saturday
Dragon (Saturday). (930k)
Garuda Sunday
Garuda (Sunday). (964k)

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Main page for Myanmar

Page last updated on Mon Jan 20 15:06:39 2020 (Mountain Standard Time)

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