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Thingyan Festival: Yangon to allow commercial pavilions

A scene from Thingyan 2017 in Mandalay. (PHOTO: DVB)

Private enterprises will be permitted to set up for-profit pavilions in Yangon during April’s Thingyan festival, the city’s mayor told DVB yesterday.

The move marks the first time since the National League for Democracy took power in 2016 that commercial venues are to be allowed.

Speaking on the sidelines of an UMFCCI meeting in the former capital on 7 March, Yangon Mayor Maung Maung Soe noted that Yangon regional government imposed a ban on commercial pavilions during its first year in office and again in 2017.

“Pavilions will be inspected for safety reasons,” he added.

Thingyan, which marks Burmese New Year on 13–17 April, is renowned as a fun but boisterous occasion when water fights take place in streets across the country, and many revellers drink alcohol.

At least 14 persons died and 150 were injured in Thingyan-related incidents during the three-day water festivities in 2017. Most deaths were caused by accidents and violent incidents attributed to fighting and drunk driving.