Myanmar activists cancel New Year festivities, hold low-key protests

Protesters carry pots of flowers during a demonstration in Myanmar. (Photo supplied)

Activists in Myanmar canceled traditional New Year observance this week and instead held small protests across the country to show their opposition to the prevailing military rule.

The traditional New Year, known as Thingyan in Myanmar, is the most important holiday of the year and is usually celebrated with prayers and the ritual cleaning of Buddha images.

Water-throwing or dousing one another from any shape or form of vessel or device that delivers water is the distinguishing feature of this festival and may be done on the first four days of the celebration.

The pandemic and the political crisis in the country, however, prevented the celebrations this year.

"People's power, our power," women marching on a street in the city of Yangon chanted. In other areas, people set out dozens of pots with messages such as "Save Myanmar.”

"We do not celebrate Myanmar Thingyan this year since over 700 of our innocent brave souls have been killed," said one Twitter user named Shwe Ei. - RVA News