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Water festival joyfully celebrated across Myanmar

- - - - - Yangon Thingyan

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YANGON, April 14 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's traditional water festival entered into its second day Friday with people across the nation joyfully celebrating the event.
The enthusiastic throwing of water during the festival symbolizes the washing away of the previous year's sins and the anticipation of starting a new year with a clean slate.
With dance troupes performing up and down the nation Myanmar's traditional Thingyan Water Festival began in earnest across the country with opening ceremonies starting Thursday morning, the first day of the water festival.
In the capital of Nay Pyi Taw, the ceremony was graced by Vice President U Henry Van Thio and officially commenced by Mayor Dr. Myo Aung. The ceremony's launch this year in the capital was covered by Myanmar Radio and TV and featured modern music bands and various dance troupes.
In Mandalay, the second-largest city, the celebration started as early as at 5 a.m. local time with the offering of meals to 108 Buddhist monks at the Mandalay City Mayor's Pandal, in the south of Mandalay moat.
Mandalay Region Chief Minister Dr. Zaw Myint Maung asked in his new year welcoming speech for a return to more innocent times.
"During the occasion of the hottest spring, the water festival is the Myanmar tradition that aims to keep each other cool with love through water. Other activities entering into the water festival have seen the people's love decay as they have been influenced by a decadent culture," Maung said.
In Yangon, the Yangon City Pandal in front of the City Hall was opened by the region's Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein.
Extending Thingyan new year greeting, U Phyo Min Thein called on locals to celebrate the festival in a more traditional way.
In Myawaddy, a border town in Kayin state which lies opposite to Thailand, the central water throwing pandal was unveiled by the Speaker of the House of Nationalities (Upper House) Mann Win Khaing Than, with the Governor of Thailand's Tak Province attending as a guest.

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