Taungbyon Spirit Festival

Taungbyon Spirit Festival

Eight days before the full moon in August
Part circus, part multinational marketplace, the Spirit Festival in Taungbyon, Myanmar, commemorates the Brother Lords, two brothers who lived in the 11th century. Condemned to die for their laziness, the brothers were recognized as spirit-gods after their deaths. The festival includes folk dramas, ceremonial dances, and opportunities to gamble and socialize. Images reflecting the pre-Buddhist animist traditions of the Burmese people are daubed with ceremonial oils and taken through the streets in procession. Shamans (intermediaries between the natural and the spirit worlds) hold many assemblies during the fair.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of the Union of Myanmar
2300 S St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-332-3344; fax: 202-332-4351
www.mewashingtondc.com
SOURCES:
WildPlanet-1995, p. 374
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