Shan people celebrate New Year

Nov 28, 2008 (DVB), Shan people across Burma yesterday celebrated Shan New Year with events in Rangoon, the Shan state capital of Taunggyi, northern Shan state’s Muse, Keng Tung in the east and many other townships.

The events marked the beginning of the year 2103 according to the Shan calendar.

One of the organisers of the Taunggyi celebration said people came from Nyaung Shwe, Inlay, Taunglaylone, Taung-ne, Naung Mon and Ho Pone to attend the event.

"In Taunggyi, we celebrated Shan New Year at the Shan literature and cultural association’s hall and it was attended by Shan people from across the region," he said.

Another event organiser said sports and activities were planned for the day after the celebration.

In Muse, a local resident said this year’s celebration was not crowded as in previous years as local authorities had denied permission to hold the event at the monastery on top of a hill on the outskirts of the town where it is usually held.

"We had to choose another location outside the town instead of the monastery so not a lot of people showed up," the resident said.

Keng Tung residents also celebrated the new year, but one local said the event was not as much fun as in previous years as the authorities had banned gambling and fireworks.

Dr Sai San Ike of the Shan literature and cultural association in Rangoon explained the origins of the festival.

"This originated as an event in the harvest season when people would share their crops with their friends," he said.

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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