The Watering Tree Festival (Kason)


Location: Countrywide

The month Kason usually falls on May of the English calendar. The month of excessive great. It is the season water in all ponds, lakes and creeks reduces to its lowest level. During the month of Kason the length of the day is longer and the night is shorter. People of Myanmar regard the month of Kason as Taurus) season and the sign of the podia is a ball. The seasonal flower is Sagar and this festival is water pouring ceremony at the Maha-Bawdhi tree, the holy Banyan tree at the foot of which the Buddha attained Buddha hood or enlightenment. As the month of kason is at the middle of the hot reason, the earth is dry and people pour water at the Maha-Bawdhi tree to make sure it does not die of drought during the hot summer. This has become an integral part of Myanmar culture and on every full-moon day of kason, the Buddhist people would march in a grand procession to the Bawdhi tree or to the pagodas to pour scented water.

The full-moon day of kason is significant for other seasons too. It is the day on which Gotama Buddha was born, attained enlightenment, passed away, and as a recluse in this previous existence, blessed by the prophecy of Depankara Buddha that he (sumedha) would also become a Buddha one day in the very remote future. It also is the day on which the original Bawdhi tree arose from out of the earth as an assurance of the coming of the Gotoma Buddha.

The Bawdhi tree has relations with lord Buddha so it becomes respectable for the Buddhists. Lord Buddha attained enlightenment underneath the Bawdhi tree so the Buddhists revere the tree. On the Full moon day of Kason Buddhist devotees celebrate not only water pouring ceremony at the Bawdhi tree but also perform meritorious deeds by keeping Sabbath, meditation, offering flowers, light, water and incense to the images of lord Buddha.

There are so many banyan tress in various regions of Myanmar. The majestic trees give cool shade and grandeur as well as dignity, grace and charm. Water pouring ceremony to the Bawdhi tree in the month of Kason had been performed successively since the time of Myanmar monarchs to the present day. The performance of the ceremony is supportive not only to the religion and tradition but also to keeping trees green and lush.