Every year on the night of the full moon in November, everyone in Myanmar celebrates Ta Zaung Dine, a festival of light. Away from the glare of the neon lights, the big orange moon shines extra bright. Each house was lit up by candles, lanterns, and strings of colorful lights. People of all ages gathered to see the paper lanterns floating down the river. Occasionally fireworks and sparklers would go up to the cheering crowds. By the market, the atmosphere is even more festive where families bring their kids out to eat, buy new clothes and play games.
We were fortunate to be visiting In Dain during a festival. People traveled from villages all over the Inle lake region to congregate at the temple. Women got dressed up in their finest garb; men set up the family shrine and sat back and had drinks with their friends; while kids ran around in excitement. The mood was festive. As the afternoon approached, the sound of the drums got louder. Monks from all around came and joined the procession going from the top of the temple down to the market area. As they walked by, bowls of alms filled with rice are offered to the Buddhist monks, some of whom are quite young.