The Irrawaddy
RANGOON — Buddhists in Burma’s former capital flocked to Shwedagon Pagoda on Tuesday to pour water on a towering banyan tree in commemoration of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. [irrawaddy_gallery] Each year on Vesak Day—or Kasone Full Moon Day, as it is known as in Burma—people in the Buddhist-majority country carry earthen pots filled with water and flowers to offer to banyan trees, in memory of the Buddha. Legend goes that the holiday falls on the hottest day of the year. Buddhists in Burma use water to cool off and protect the holy tree, under which the Buddha achieved enlightenment.

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