Burma Celebrates New Year Water Festival ‘Thingyan’

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Burmese citizens today celebrated their New Year Water Festival called the “Thingyan.”

Burmese Year is widely known as Thingyan Festival or Waterfest. The festival is celebrated with water as a symbol of the flow of time, washing away past sins to provide spiritual renewal, and greet the up-coming monsoon to bring a blissful new beginning.

The New Year is celebrated for five days. During this festive celebration, no one tries to greet each other “Happy New Year,” instead they greet each other “Happy Thingyan!”

The festival is celebrated with pouring water, performances, courtship, and everybody exudes good cheer spirit. The elders of the family and community are treated to special services.

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A pickup truck full of revelers is doused with water on the streets of Taunggyi, Shan State.

The US Secretary of States Hillary Rodham Clinton sent her best wishes to the people of Burma as they celebrate thingyan.

She says over the past year, Burma has taken important steps on an historic new path toward democracy and economic development.

“As you build a brighter future filled with new opportunities, the United States will continue to work with you to strengthen mutual understanding and trust between our two countries and peoples.” -Ms. Clinton

The United States is looking forward to deepening cooperation on a wide range of issues that promote democratization and national reconciliation, from increasing access to education to expanding health care and encouraging a vibrant civil society.

“As you gather with family, friends, and neighbors to honor your rich traditions and culture, know that the United States sends our congratulations and best wishes for a peaceful, prosperous, and happy New Year.” -Ms. Clinton

As Burma pursues the road for reform, development and democracy, the United States of America expressed commitment to support Burma’s democratic reforms.

US government has pursued a policy of engagement to support human rights and reform in Burma.

United States maintain extensive, targeted sanctions against Burmese regime. Sanctions also targeted against senior leaders of the Burmese government and military, their immediate family members, their key supporters, and others who abuse human rights.

Obama Administration continues to show commitment to promote democracy and human rights in Burma and on key recent developments in Burma including the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, the 2010 elections, and the formation of a government headed by former top regime general and now President Thein Sein.

The United States is currently pursuing parallel and complementary tracks in a full-scale effort to advance progress on core concerns of the United States and the international community, including the unconditional release of all political prisoners, respect for human rights, and an inclusive dialogue with the political opposition and ethnic groups that would lead to national reconciliation.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.