In pictures: Myanmar's lighting festival - Al Jazeera English

In pictures: Myanmar's lighting festival

Colourful three-day event celebrates the anniversary of Buddha's descent to Earth.

Andre Malerba |

Yangon, MyanmarThe golden light streams through billowing, white clouds, indicating that Myanmar's rainy season is finally over. Thousands of people from Myanmar and abroad flock to pagodas around Yangon for the country's Lighting Festival, a three-day event that occurs on the full moon during the month of Thadingyut.

The revelries celebrate the anniversary of Buddha's descent to Earth from his celestial abode.

During the day, families travel to several pagodas to pray to Buddha and light incense for wishes and as offerings. They also partake in a ritual in which one pours cups of water over a statue of the Buddha for good luck. Food, flowers, money and other gifts are also distributed.

As the sun sinks below the horizon, people take to the streets to celebrate with firecrackers, food and street fairs. Homes are decorated with lights and candles are lit - at pagodas and on the streets - to commemorate deceased loved ones. For the brave of heart, man-powered Ferris wheels feature the acrobatics of young men who climb through the wheel to set it in motion, before riding the chairs to the ground.

MORE FROM AL JAZEERA
Media Theorised

Media Theorised

In our latest online series we showcase the key works of five big thinkers from around the world – Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Marshall McLuhan, Roland Barthes and Stuart Hall - whose theories on the media will sharpen your critical tools when you next consume the news.

MUST-SEE PROGRAMMES