Phaungdaw U Pagoda Festival

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Located in and around the stilted villages of Inle Lake, PhaungDaw U Pagoda is the most famous pagoda in Myanmar. The pagoda houses five small gilded images of Buddha, which have been covered in gold leaf to the point that their original forms can not be seen. The five Buddha Images represents the Kakkusandra, Kaunagamana, Kasatpa, Gautama and ArainmareyaBuddhas of this world.

Annually, there is the PhaungDaw U Pagoda Festival held here for a total of 18 days from the first day of the waxing moon to the third day after the full moon of Thadingyut (September and October in our western calendar).

Within 18 days of this festival, rowing competitions are held, which makes for a wonderfully visual spectacle. People from all provinces come to this festival to pay homage to the four Buddha images and gain merit whilst enjoying the festive air of the event.

The most interesting thing in this festival is the building a large boat with a Golden Hintha Bird creation. The Buddha Images tour around the Inlay Lake from village to village taking the whole 18 days on the way. However, only four of the Buddha Images are moved onto the royal barge. The mysterious fifth Buddha image is left to “guard” their original resting place at the PhaungDaw U Pagoda whist the festival take place. When traveling to this Pagoda, tour guide will tell you more about this interesting secret.

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