Tanhsaungmone and The Medicine Night
Come Tanhsaungmone(Tahsaungtaing), the 8th month of the Burmese calendar, another lights festival even more elaborate with the usual trimming of music, dances, and shows. Tanhsaungmone festival is the lights festival in the month of tanhsaungmone(November). The month is the time for offering special robes and other gifts to the monks.
In this month, 10th of November is the full moon day of Tanhsaungmone. So there are three days of lights festival, namely the day before the full moon day, the full moon day and the day after. Colored electric bulbs and lighting candles are in the streets, houses and public buildings.
‘An outburst of energy in meritorious deeds under cloudless sky and myriad lights.’ quoted from the Burmese poem found in the Burmese calendar which was drawn by famous artist U BaKyi.
‘The Medicine Night’
The day after the full moon day of Tanhsaungtaing (11th November of this year) is the significant day of Burmese people. We believe that it is the day all the stars are surely in the sky. No star can be hidden! It represents that what we eat in this night effect our health even the water you drink an effective medicine for us.
So, to have more effective medicine, we must eat ‘Mei Za Li buds’ (natural buds from plant) by the instruction of the astrologer for what time we will have to eat. I remembered last year of Tanhsaungtaing, on the day after the full moon day, we ate ‘Mei Za Li’ at 11:35?PM by the instruction of the astrologer. The original taste was very bitter. So we mixed with lime, onion, salt, sugar, sesame-oil and other materials to have a best taste. We believed that it would be good for our health for the coming year. We have to buy this thing as quickly as possible in the market on that day because it would be out of sold for everybody was going to have it!
There were songs and poems that honored and praised the day after full moon day. Some love-song was filled with romance; ‘I miss you especially tonight more than any other starry nights’ or ‘Why we two cannot be together tonight even all the stars can meet in the sky?’.
(photo-above-(left)- Illustration of Tahsaungtaing festival in Burma. It was from the calendar drawn by famous artist U BaKyi(1912 – 2000).
(right) – What you see ‘Mei Za Li’ buds that we must eat, good for health especially at the night of the day after the full moon day.)
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