The Worshiping of Nats

Taung Byone festival. it is usually held during the month of August.The Nats are believed to be super natural powerful beings. stated between the gods and the spiritual beings. There are 37 Nats (spirits) in Myanmar cultural belief.

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They are

1. Thagya (Indra or Sakra)
2. MahaGiri (Lord of the great mountain)
3. Hnamadawgyi (Great royal sister of Magagiri)
4. Shwe Nabe (Lady Golden Sides)
5. Thon Ban Hla (Lady Three Times Beautiful)
6. Toungoo Mingaung (King Mingaung of Taungoo)
7. Mintara (King Hsinbyushin)
8. Thandawgan (The Royal Secretary to Taungoo Minkaung)
9. Shwe Nawrahta (The young prince drowned by King Shwenankyawshin)
10. Aung Zawmagyi (Lord of the White Horse)
11. Ngazishin (Lord of the five white elephant)
12. Aungbinle Hsinbyushin (Lord of the white elephant from Aungbinle)
13. Taungmagyi (Lord of Due South)
14. Maung Minshin (Lord of the North)
15. Shindaw (Lord Novice)
16. Nyaung-gyin (Old man of the Banyan tree)
17. Tabinshwehti (King of Myanmar between 1531-50)
18. Minye Aungdin (Brother-in-law of King Thalun)
19. Shwe Sit thin (Prince. son of Saw Hnit)
20. Medaw Shwedaw (Lady Golden Words)
21. Maung Po Tu (Shan Tea Merchant)
22. Yun Bayin (King of Chiengmai)
23. Maung MinByu (Prince MinByu)
24. Mandalay Bodaw (Lord grandfather of Mandalay)
25. Shwebyin Naungdaw (Elder Brother Inferior Gold)
26. Shwebyin Nyidaw (Younger Brother Inferior Gold)
27. Mintha Maungshin (Grandson of Alaung Sithu)
28. Htibyusaung (Lord of White Umbrella)
29. Htibyusaung Medaw (Lady of White Umbrella)
30. Pareinma Shin Mingaung (The Usurper Mingaung)
31. Min Sithu (King Alaung Sithu)
32. Min Kyawzwa (Prince Kyawzwa)
33. Myaukpet Shinma (Lady of the North)
34. Anauk Mibaya (Queen of the Western Palace)
35. Shingon (Lady Hunback)
36. Shigwa (Lady Bandy-legs)
37. Shin Nemi (Little lady with the flute)

During the eleventh century. King Anawrahta of Bagan was converted to Buddhism which then became the official religion of the entire kingdom. The ancient Myanmar people believed. like other primitive peoples. that the forces of nature were driven by spirits. Every spirit maintains a territory. a dam. a monument or any previous object.

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Finally. the number of the Nats was set in the twelfth century by King Anawrahta in order to contain a cult that Buddhism had failed to eliminate. And up to today. the Myanmar people are still superstitious in many ways. They keep and carry out the traditions and cultural heritage of the older generations such as the belief in the cult of the Nats.

The Myanmars still worship them vigorously. and believe that the Nats can bring luck and prosperity to the worshippers and can also bring danger to those who do not respect them. The word "Nat" is unclear. It may be derive from the Hindu Natha which means lord. savior or protector.

This festival includes the following matters.

1. Preparation for the Ritual
2. The Offerings
3. The Orchestra
4. The Possession

The Nat Pwe is usually held for three days. The first day is for the Summoning the Nats. The second day is the Nats' feast. The third is the day for the Nats' departure. Devotees from all over Myanmar. comes to this special festival and offer their donations and enjoy themselves with the blessings of the spirits. every year. They pray for prosperity. fame. and luck for the next coming year.

So. if you can have a visit to Myanmar. to learn about new cultures and to have extraordinary experience. we recommend that you should visit this special festival of Mount Popa.

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