The Bo Bo Gyi nat festival is one of Myanmar’s famous annual festivals and runs for 12 days. Bo bo Gyi, also known as Myint Phyu Shin, is
The Bo Bo Gyi nat festival is one of Myanmar’s famous annual festivals and runs for 12 days. Bo bo Gyi, also known as Myint Phyu Shin, is one of 37 spirits in the nat pantheon which predates which predates Buddhism but has long been integrated into indigenous religious belied. The ritual of offering food to the spirit is the main event of this festival.
Bo Bo Gyi is known as the Rider of the White Horse and is a poltergeist who provides protection from danger and enemies. On the eve of the ceremony, devotees throw packets of tea leaves at each other. Those who are hit must pledge to attend the following year’s festival.
The celebrations start at the entrance to the village, on the altar of Myin Hpyu Shin Bo Bo Gyi. In accordance with custom, villagers prepare five sets of trays, each with seven vegetables and seven pieces of pork.The offerings must be carefully arranged and include steamed rice, tri-coloured glutinous rice and rice formed into animal-shaped cakes.Other staples are pumpkin,coconut,banana,dried fish and fried chilies, garnished with tea leaves and betel nut. The main feature is the pork, which is served on its own or minced into porridge. Offering pork to Bo Bo Gyi is a unique feature of the event because offerings of pork are taboo at other nat festivals.
The Bo Bo festival is also unique for being alcohol-free: alcohol is regarded as an essential offering to the nats at other festivals. Devotees at the Bo Bo Gyi festival do not sing or dance. They simply cook together, worship together and enjoy the food offerings with friends, family, relatives and pilgrims visiting from other areas. The participants believe that they will enjoy health, happiness and good luck.
september 6 (Friday) - 18 (Wednesday)