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* ဗုဒၶဘာသာႏွင့္ မိမိတုိ႕ေလ့လာေနေသာ ပညာရပ္ဆုိင္ရာ အေၾကာင္းအရာမ်ားကုိ ဗဟုသုတအလုိ႕ငွါ ေရးသား မွ်ေ၀ၾကရန္၊

1. The Meaning of “Thungran”
• Thungran = Transition (derives from Pali as well as Sanskrit)
• Thungran days are celebrated at the transitional time from old year to New Year on the month of Tankhu (April), the first month of Rakhine or Myanmar Calendar year.
• The Rakhine calls that month as “Tar ku la” that means the transitional month.

2. Brief History of “Thungran”
• In BC 528, during the reign of King Canda Suriya of Dannyavadi, the Lord Buddha together with 500 disciples visited Selagiri Kyauktaw Hill according to the telepathic request and invitation by the King who was much closed friend of the Buddha in the past lives. In the moment, a replica of the Lord Buddha namely “Mahamuni” was casted to be worshiped by the King and Rakhine people. Then the sacred Buddha Image was poured and offered with the sweet smelling creamy water (Nan tha re = Sandalwood).
• Since then, the tradition is appeared for Rakhine people cleansing and offering of the Nan tha re to Buddha Statues.
• With the remaining Nan tha re, Rakhine people pour on each other and the tradition of “Thungran Water Festival” emanated from that time till the date.

3. Celebrating Rakhine Thungran Traditionally
• Rakhine Thungran is usually celebrated in three categories, namely (1) Nantha Grinding Ceremony, (2) Nantha Pouring to the Buddha Statues, and (3) Water Festival.
• As of Buddhism-related festival, Rakhine people cleans the monasteries and its ordination building (Thein = Sima) with water in every wards and village on the eve of Thungran.
• At that evening, Rakhine girls assemble at the pagoda platform or a hall bringing sandalwoods of white and red (Nantha Phyu and Nantha Ni). They grind the Nantha pieces or blocks on the face of Kyauk-pyin (round flat rock) to obtain the creamy sweet smelling Nantha. At the same time, the young Rakhine men cheer and sing songs with the musical instruments to make the Nantha Grinding event into a competition. The Nantha creams are well preserved in pots or containers.
• The next morning (Thungran Ah Kya Day), the people go to the pagodas and monasteries and do the cleaning and offering of the Nantha to Buddha statues. Then the Five Concepts of Sila are received from monks to whom offering are delivered. Thereafter, young girls pour Nantha creams to those statues. Indeed, that is the gesture of welcoming to Thungran.
• The opportunity of watering each other in the pandals during the days from Akya to Attat is the affectionate and efficacious tryst for boys and girls.
• Each pandal built of wood and bamboo, decorated with palm leafs and padauk flowers, is placed with a long boat filled with water therein. Wooden barricades with decorations are built firmly in front of it. Pandals are used to be named in lively titles and well decorated name board is set up at the forefront thereof. Generally, water throwing period prolongs from 10 am to 4 pm daily.

4. Splashing Water in the Pandals
• The pandal girls have to sit facing the boat with the backs to the open side of pandal.
• Boys either in group or individually roaming around and reveling songs and rhymes, come into the pandal to play watering with pandal girls. On request to the pandal supervisor ladies, they will choose the girl with whom they would like to play watering with. They chosen girl then offers a bucket of water to the boy and he will start to play water, then the girl response watering with her own bowl. Others while waiting their turn outside the pandal will play music, songs or rhymes. Necessary measures are pre-arranged to avoid discontent with regard to priority to enter the pandal.
• Such traditional water throwing of Rakhine national is unique among other nationals of Myanmar. (Collected and typed by Ashon Nyanuttara)

ပုိ႕စ္တင္သူ ။.............။ ေမာင္သိရီ on Saturday, 21 April 2012
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