Myanmar boat festival returns amid joy and sorrow

Inle Lake (Myanmar) (AFP) – Thousands of Buddhists take to boats on Myanmar’s famed Inle Lake for the seventeen-day Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda festival as it returns after a three-year absence. The event sees four Buddha statues loaded onto a golden barge before being rowed through villages in the country’s eastern Shan state. This year, the festival is tinged with sadness as Myanmar continues to grapple with violence following a coup in 2021. According to a local monitoring group, the military’s crackdown on anti-coup fighters has resulted in more than 4,100 deaths and tens of thousands of arrests.


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