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WHEN THE KING COMES TO TOWN
Myanmar people still believes in mythology. The quaint idea of Sakra(in Sanskrit language), King of the Celestial Beings who lives in heaven, coming down to earth at this time of the year is one of such believe.
On the appointed day during the Thigyan Festival(the Water Festival), Sakra(or in the Myanmar language, the Thagya Min) comes down to the abode of the humans. The astrologers calculate, based on their own secret knowledge of the rotation of the planets the earth and other mystic calculus,when the Thagya Min will come. The arrival is predicted down to the exact time, the colour of the cloak the Thagya Min will be wearing, the tools are in the hands, whether the rains will be good or the harvest bountiful, which person born on which day of the week will be deemed lucky and what should be done by those deemed unlucky to overcome the misfortunes and even the direction of arrival. All these are calculated, reviewed over and then published in what are called "thingyan sar" or the thingyan papers.
The rural people still believes in the predictions made in the thingyan sar. If the cloak is gold with sheaves of paddy in the arms the harvest would be good. But if the cloak is red with a thunder bolt in the hands beware for there is death and destruction in the future. The thingyan sar also predict whether the monsoon will bring heavy rains in the beginning or less rain later so that the farmers can know ahead what to expect.
The Thagya Min might stay 3 or 4 days on earth and then returns back to the Celestial Abode but MM people welcome the Thagya Min with symbolic items. A pot of water with eugenia leaves, a handful of grass are placed in front of every house and kept there until the Thagya Min returns back to heaven.
The young children are also told that the Thagya Min has two rolls of parchment:one of gold and one of dog skin. The good person's name is recorded on the gold rolls but a bad name would be put on the dog skin one so everybody behaves.
Such are the quaint beliefs still with the Myanmar people even in this time of FACEBOOK and TWITTER and interplanetary travels.