TheKasonfestival of watering the SacredBodhiTree, symbolizing the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha is an important Buddhist event throughout Myanmar.
The full moon day ofKasonis the Buddha Day, celebrated by the Buddhist faithful throughout the world. This year, the event is held on May 25th. On this dayDipankaraBuddha prophesied to the hermitSumedhathat he would becomeGotamaBuddha, the latest one in thisBaddhaWorld, who again on suchlike days was born, attained Enlightenment (i.e., became the Buddha), and enteredParinibbana(i.e., passed away).
The Buddha Day is the most significant day in the Buddhist world. It is a day four times blessed which is deeply intertwined with the milestones in theBuddhaslife. The festival is also known asVesakDay in other Buddhist countries, or the festival of pouring water on theBodhitree.
TheBodhitree (FicusReligiosa), under which former princeSiddhatthaattained Enlightenment, is held sacred. Hence the act of pouring water on it is an expression of piety and respect shown to him. Participants carry pots of water and Eugenia springs and flowers.Then comes chanting ofParittaverses, a brief explanation of the rites, and recitation of poems praising the Lord Buddha.Finally, water is poured at the foot of theBodhitree. Buddhist people would march in a grand procession to theBodhitree or to the pagodas to pour scented water. Every pagoda in Myanmar worth its salt has a sacred site complete with aBodhitree in its precincts. Yet festive atmosphere is not lacking: light refreshments are served accompanied by music and dance performed by amateur merry-makers.