Inle Lake Prepares For First-Ever Floating Water Festival

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Photo Intha fishermen row their boats using their legs, the iconic sight of Inle Lake. / The Irrawaddy

11 April 18 - Source: Irrawaddy - YANGON — A floating Thingyan will be held for the first time ever over the four days of this year's annual water festival with many activities aimed both at promoting the culture of the ethnic Intha who live around Shan State's popular Inle Lake and at boosting tourism.

The event is being put on by the Miss Inle Organization and starts Saturday at the Inle Cultural Heritage Trust Complex in Nan Pan Village, Nyaung Shwe Township.

"During the Thingyan festival, Inle Lake didn't have many things to do and did not have many places to celebrate Thingyan with a crowd. That's why we want to make this a place where everyone can enjoy the Myanmar water festival, Thingyan," said Ko Sai Soe Tun Aung, general manager of the Miss Inle Organization and the Inle Cultural Heritage Trust Complex.

"The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism gave us guidelines and we organized this festival to make it happen. This is the first time for a floating Thingyan festival for us and for Inle Lake, so we've done our best to prepare for the visitors," he added.

Over the four days, the event will run in two sessions daily, one from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and another from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

It will feature free food and traditional dance performances and sets by top local singers spread across 21 floating venues. There will also be a Mr. and Mrs. Inle 2019 contest on the last day.

Tickets to get onto the stages will cost 15,000 kyats per person per day.

"We will place many trash bins at the festival and we also have a team to collect the trash from Inle Lake. We have started a campaign urging people not to throw any trash into the lake and to save Inle Lake," said Ko Sai Soe Tun Aung.

On Wednesday, Myanmar New Year's Day, the organizers will make donations to 1,000 monks on the lake. A New Year's Dhamma ceremony will also be held.

"I'm sure all the activities of the Inle Floating Thingyan are new and will be a new experience for Intha, travellers and foreigners. So I want to invite everyone to come and celebrate this floating Thingyan with us," said Ko Sai Soe Tun Aung.


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