April is the month of traditional New Year celebration in most of mainland ASEAN countries.
There are local terms to define this heart-warming season:
Cambodia: Choul Chnam Thmey
Laos: Boun Pi Mai
“Choul Chnam Thmey” and “Boun Pi Mai” literally mean “enter new year” whereas “Thingyan” and “Songkran” are derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “transit”, hereby referring to the transit of the Sun from Pisces to Aries. It marks the beginning of the traditional New Year, which falls in the middle of April, and is observed as public holidays in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand.
The family gatherings, religious ceremonies and festive activities are practiced nationwide and throughout this part of ASEAN. It is also informally known as the water festival when people pour water over the Buddha image to pay homage and over the elder relatives to express reverence.
However, due to global concern to prevent the spread of coronavirus, all public gatherings are restricted, and our New Year celebration is suspended to keep our lives safe and in good well-being. Despite the physical distancing, our heartfelt wishes still remain, and our spirits never part.
On this occasion, C asean Consonant would like to celebrate the New Year with our performance of “Man Taung Yeik Kho”, one of the famous Thingyan song, water festival song in Myanmar.
It means seeking refuge in the shade of Mandalay hill will wish you a long peaceful life. This is often sung by Burmese people to remind them of their roots and national pride and also illustrate how Burmese people celebrate the festival with community by music and dance. So, it has become a perennial classic during the Thingyan festival.
Song: Man Taung Yeik Kho
Composer: Myoma Nyein
Arranger: Ne Myo Aung
The music background of this version of Man Taung Yeik Kho is a live performance by C asean Consonant at the Grand Opening of the new ASEAN Secretariat building in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 8 August 2019.