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Myanmar Beliefs & Customs

There are 8 planets; Tuesday planet (Mars), Wednesday planet (Mercury), Thursday planet (Jupiter), Friday planet (Venus), Saturday planet (Saturn), Sunday planet (Sun), Monday planet (Mon) and Yahu.

Planetary post There are 8 planets; Tuesday planet (Mars), Wednesday planet (Mercury), Thursday planet (Jupiter), Friday planet (Venus), Saturday planet (Saturn), Sunday planet (Sun), Monday planet (Mon) and Yahu. The sign of planet Sunday is a garuda, planet Monday a tiger, planet Tuesday a lion, planet Wednesday an elephant, planet Thursday a mouse, planet Friday a guinea-pig, Planet Saturday a Dragon and Planet Ya-hu a tusk-less elephant. There is a redeeming feature. The planets are supposed to move locations and stay at their new locations for a duration, which varies with the kinds of planets from 6 years to 21 years. This changes one's fate or fortune for better or worse for the duration. If one tells his date & hour of birth, an astrologer casts the Zata (horoscope) and can calculate his future, considering the effect and situation of the planets as a base.

Manusiha Lions are decorated on the terraces of stupas, temples and at the base of the old lion throne. The appearance of the Manusiha Lion is the head of human, two bodies and tails of the lions. Manusiha lions are placed in the pagodas to- wards of the evils.

The Lawkanat can be seen on the pagoda platform. The figure of the Lawkanat is as a guardian of the world, the symbol of peace. It appears in singing and dancing style. At the museum, it is located on the left and right corners in front of the lion throne.

There are three types of Kainari and Kainara.
(1) The head of the human and the body of the bird.
(2) The head of the human and the body of the horse.
(3) The head of the horse and the body of the human. The Kainari is female and Kainara is male. Their appearances are in dancing and singing style. One can see the painting and carving of those creatures in pagodas. Kainari and Kainara statues are placed in the pagoda because they represent faithfulness.

Hair Style depends on the length of hair. If hair was long, it was done into a knot, it was gathered and tied with a red wool yarn at the base so that the ends of hair stood stiff like a bunch of fowl's quills. This style was called Kyet-taung-si.
Another style is Sa-yit, circular fringe. Bangs would be combed into the main coiffer and two tresses would be curled behind the ears to frame the face. Fringe at the back was trimmed just above the nape of the neck. This hairstyle is called Sa-dauk.
Other fancy hair styles created from the beautiful thick hair of Myanmar men and women have varied in the ages. Examples can be seen at the museum in Bagan.

The widespread adoption of Buddhism in Myanmar  suppressed but never replaced the pre-Buddhist practice of Nat worship. Originally animism, associated with hills, trees, lakes and other natural features was the primary belief among rurals. The Myanmar Nat has evolved into a spirit that may hold dominion over a place (natural or human-made) person or field of experience.
37 Nats are worshipped at present by some people. Each Nat has similar interesting history. Each was prominent in life then died violently. After death, they became Nat. Red and white are widely known to be Nat colors.
In most homes, Minmahagiri Nat who was burned to death, represented by un- husked coconut, is hanged in a shrine to protect houses from fires. Ma Ne Lay Nat died when she was 2 years old. People believe she can protect children. U Shin Gyi Nat, who drowned, is the Lord of the seas and oceans. Fisherman, Sailors pray for protection from UShin Gyi. Some popular Nats receive special offerings at festival time. At festival, Spirit medium sing and perform special dances with loud music that invites special Nats to possess them. Taung Pyone Nat festival is very famous for wish-fulfilling.
Nat worship is not only tolerated, but coexists harmoniously with Buddhism. This may be a manifestation of the peace-loving nature of its people.

White Elephants are revered aspect of Myanmar culture. White elephants are a rarity, they gained further prominence. Kings kept white elephants as an ornament or part of the regalia. White elephant was a good omen, suggesting that the king owning it would become ?Lord of Universal" People still believe it brings good luck, prosperity and peace to the country. At present, a male and a female white elephants are honored in Myanmar. They attract visitors from local and abroad & view at Mindama hill in Yangon.

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