Myanmar is a country has Eastern cultural traditions. Deeply influenced by Buddhist belief. No wonder if most of the cultural events and festivals of the country are bearing the stamp of Buddhism … One of the most important traditional cultural activities in Burma is Phaung Daw Oo pagoda festival in Shan state. The festival lasts 18 days to show reverence to the Buddhas of residents in Inle lake area.
Phaung Daw Oo pagoda
Legend has it that in the XII century, kings Alaungsithu of Bagan empire was a devout Buddhist, has spent much time traveling around his kingdom and built many Buddhist works, the most impressive one to tell to temple in Bagan – Thatbyinnyu. King Alaungsithu was the one who brought to Inle Lake area 5 statues of Buddha that exists to today. These 5 Buddha statues are placed in Phaung Daw Oo pagoda.
Around Inle Lake area has a lot of temples and monasteries, but with the presence of five legendary Buddha image, Phaung Daw Oo has become the most famous monasteries, as well as biggest monastery in the region, stand out among the blue sky with gilded roof. At a height of 12-16 inches (30 – 40cm), they have been plated by gold from Buddhists, over time has thickened to the point to lose the original artifact details, leaving only the shape of plump yellow block.
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival
Every year by the time of the full moon of Thadingyut month in Burmese calendar (September or October depend on each year); residents living around Inle Lake and Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda will hold the festival to show reverence to Buddhas. On this occasion, the statue of Buddha in Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda will be taken up a royal boat and visiting the villages around the lake; with the escort of the fleet of local people.
According to the legend, on the occasion of the festival in 1965; there was bad weather, the royal boat be capsized by large wave; entail the Buddha statues were crashed into the lake. Everyone dived in a panic to looking for them but found only four statues. They returned Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda in an inconsolable regret. Arriving at the temple; every people astonished when the saw the statue has been lost still located at the same place as there has never been any shift. Since then this statue is secured in the temple, only four other statues be moved for the annual pilgrimage.