The Irrawaddy

Mandalay Revives Traditional Thingyan Nights to Attract Visitors

The Mandalay Thingyan Walkway entrance in 2017.

MANDALAY — The Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC) is planning to revive traditional Burmese Thingyan nights to attract more visitors during the upcoming celebrations.

After success last year with a traditional Thingyan night walkway, the MCDC will repeat its efforts. By separating the old and new celebrations, it hopes to attract more visitors. High-pressure sprays, DJs and pavilions will still be on some sides of the Mandalay Palace moat, but the south side outside the old palace will be a strolling walkway, with no vehicles allowed.

“The Thingyan night walkway will attract visitors who want to enjoy Mandalay nightlife but in a traditional fashion,” U Kyaw Yin Myint, an MCDC committee member, told The Irrawaddy.

According to the MCDC, local and foreign visitors increased considerably last year, largely because of the traditional walkway along the southern palace wall.

Tourists participate in the Mandalay Thingyan Walkway in 2017. ( Photo: Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy)

Visitors will be able to enjoy traditional delicacies, puppet shows and classic Myanmar films.

Along with a number of bookstores and souvenir shops, the Thingyan night walkway will be open from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. during the festival.

“We are taking great care to have fresh, quality food to sell at the walking street,” said U Kyaw Yin Myint.

“Our target is to revive tradition and create a major festive attraction in the country while also letting the youth be current,” he added.

The Thingyan water festival is the annual celebration for Myanmar New Year. Many Myanmar people believe that throwing water on others before New Year’s Day will wash away the bad things from the prior year.

People used to use cups and buckets to politely pour water on each other but pressured water pumps and sprays have become popular in recent years.

This year, Thingyan celebrations will run from April 13 to 17.