Where is Taung Byone Nat Festival
Taung Byone Nat Festival is the largest Nat festival in Myanmar. It is festival for two venerated Nat brothers at Taung Byone village which lies 20km, just 30 minutes drive from Mandalay. Festival date for Gregorian calendar changes each year as Myanmar use lunar calendar for annual festival.
Who are 2 venerated Nat at Taung Byone village
Local believe said go back to the time of King Anawrahta, Bagan kingdom, 11th century. King Anawhta, adopted two brothers who were son of Mr.Byatta and Me Wanna (guardian spirit of Mt. Popa at the present time). Two brothers were brave, great fighters became King’s favorite soldiers. King Anawrahta travelled around his country with them. Upon arrival to the base of Mandalay hill, he ordered to build a temple. His order was everybody in his traveling group had to participate labour bringing a brick and a basket of sand for the construction of the temple. Two brothers forgot participate their labour bringing two brick. End of the work, the king visited to the temple and saw two bricks are missing by the key stone of the porch. The king got anger and ordered to kill two brothers. Two brothers were killed by their beloved adopted father. Because of violence death, they couldn’t reincarnate better existence and believed that they became Nat.
The temple is near Taung Byone village. There is shrine for two nat brothers not far from the temple. Villagers celebrate annual pagoda festival as well as for two brother nats in the month of Wakhaung which is famous Taung Byone Nat festival, the festival to honor two venerated nat brothers.
Two brothers were brave soldiers for King Anawrahta army. Two brothers were also leader of King Anawrahta army marched to China in a request for the tooth relic of Lord Buddha.
Concern with this event, there are two other rites at their shrine: in the month of Nattaw, festival for their departure to China (sithtwet pwe), and in the month of Tabaung festival for their return (sitpyane pwe) .
Taung Byone Nat Festival starts from the 10th waxing day of the month of Wagaung to the full moon day. Before festival starts, there are several shops in the big markets, food stall and many studios of Natkadaw (wife of Nat). Thousands of visitors to festival, some belief on Nat, some are not, visit to festival just for fun. Festival lasts for 6 days. Each day has different occasional ceremony.
How to reach Taung Byone Nat Festival
There is public transports: rail and bus. Take the train from Thayezay station to Taung Byone station. Taung Byone station is just 5 minutes walk to shrine. Corner of main street find the public bus (pick up) to Taung Byone. It there is lots of traffic, sometime public buses cannot reach to festival place. Need to walk depend on traffic. Normally public bus park at Taung Byone Festival is 10 minutes walk to shrine. Most foreign visitors hire private car to Taung Byone Nat Festival.