In Buddhist cultures, men are expected to enter the monastery at least once in their lifetimes. For young boys, this is accompanied with a party and finally a procession around the main temples. Called, shinpyu, it is a feast for the eyes as the young boys are dressed in beautiful costumes snd wear make-up. For girls, it’s also the time for them to get ear piercings.
I caught a shinpyu twice on separate occasions at the Mahamuni Paya in Mandalay.
The festivities began even on the way to the temple as the convoy of pick-ups loaded with the boys and girls and their families are accompanied by much music and even dancing.
Upon arriving at Mahamuni Paya, a processinal line was formed.
Behind the girls and boys are their proud families.
Also in the procession are young women holding symbolic objects. There are strict requirements to be one of these women. Their parents, for example, should still be alive and married.
At the rear of the procession are women bearing gifts such as blankets to the monks.
The children go to the buddha inside the temple to bow in devotion.
It takes a lot of money to host a ceremony this grand. Less financially capable families simply bring gifts to the monks.
It was fascinating to watch as the children were so cute.
A formal picture.
Boys are heavily made-up.
They are dressed to look like the princes of old.
The little girls are in white.
Colorful umbrellas shield the children from the sun.