While I was in Yangon, I caught the tail end of Thingyan, the Burmese New year, which like the Thai New Year is celebrated with a huge water festival all throughout the country. Stores are closed, everyone goes home to visit family, and business grinds to a standstill as everyone washes away the burdens of last year and begins a new year afresh. And Yangon throws the best water fight of all of Southeast Asia – smaller than Thailand, less advanced than Thailand, but still the best.
Interestingly, this is the fourth New Year celebration I attended in four months:
– The western New Year at the Taipei 101 in Taiwan (Jan 1)
– The lunar / Vietnamese New year of Tet in Saigon, Vietnam (Jan 28 – Feb 5)
– The Thai New Year of Songkran in Bangkok, Thailand (April 13-15)
– The Burmese New Year of Thingyan in Yangon, Myanmar (April 13-16)