Nyaungshwe, Burma, or on the banks of Inle Lake.
I came out of the woods, after four days trekking, and into the middle of a five-day full moon festival. My first day in Nyaungshwe I wandered into town, and saw crowds gathering on sidewalks, waiting. So I, of course, decided to wait with them.
Eventually, a parade of dancing, music playing, singing people waltzed past. There were floats draped in streamers and LED lights. Women walked in lines carrying offerings. Little boys ran wild with trees decorated with Kyat. The man next to me spoke English, and explained that these were offerings for the local monastery. The parade was day two of five for the yearly full moon festival. Day five would be “really, really…” English failed my translator here. I might stick around to see the spectacle.
Based on some preliminary research (asking any local English speakers, and checking the guidebooks), I believe this festival is for Buddha’s birthday.
Due to severely limited Internet this post is going to be short and sweet. I’m typing this on my only wifi capable device, my iPhone. More to come later when I have good Thai Internet and a computer. At that time I will spice up these posts with some pictures. Words are okay, but photos are better to convey the amazing Burma.
Until June, feel free to check out a few pictures I’ve managed to upload to Instagram: @flambuoyant.