Buddha Face Cleaning ceremony at Mahamuni Pagoda

Mandalay is situated in the central of the Burma, in the side of gentle Ayeyawady River. Mandalay owns many treasures of the country, remains mysterious in the eyes of many visitors.

City has Shwenandaw monastery – a place to keep the extremely sophisticated wood sculpture; Kuthodaw Paya pagoda – where conservation of the world’s largest Buddhist scriptures include 729 “pages” carved on a large marble; royal palace – a symbol of kingship, U-bein wooden bridge and Buddhist monastery in Amrapura; stupa Mingun; and particularly Mahamuni temple with Buddha statue wearing robe, hat.

The statue has very unique shape. Buddha sitting in meditation posture, has a round face, long ears with ear ring, wear hats and robe. The statue was made of bronze weighing 6.5 tons, 1.8 meters high. Stupa has 3 aisles at sides and front. The entire ceiling, wall radiating with bright yellow.

Millions of Buddhists have come here with offering are gold leaves, measuring approximately of 2 thumb to put on the Statue body and making thickening body about 6 inches (15 cm).

in Burma especially in Mahamuni Pagoda, women are only allowed to kneel, sit or stand behind a fence about 30 meters far from statue, man has the power to come nearer to statue. But the number of women buying gold leaf is much more than men.

The Buddha Face cleaning ceremony is held at 4 AM every day. Therefore, it is not very popular with tourist. The ceremony starts with complicate rituals. With the help of about 10 young monks in with cloth, the Monk cover the yellow cloth to the Statue body.

Water is stored in shiny metal jars. The Monk sprays to wet the Buddha face, then he uses pad carefully and gently wipe full face of Buddha from his forehead, down his eyes, nostrils. Particularly is lips, monks us soft paintbrush, gently brush back and forth several times. Last rite, the monk use fan to dry the Buddha statue quietly, while many indigenous men knelt closer to Buddha foot.

The ceremony has been held since the day the statue be located in this pagoda. And only the monks have high position in the Mandalay Buddhist community can undertake this important work.

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