Shwedagon Pagoda is the most sacred site in Burma. Here, we walked barefoot, as everyone else. We slowly moved clockwise around the immense gold gilded pagoda after having been informed what day was our birth day (day of the week). There is a station (or corner) for each day, with two on Wednesday (one for Wednesday morning and one for Wednesday afternoon). As we found our own corner we witnessed people making offerings at the appropriate station and pouring water over the idols. All this is part of gaining merit. It is quite an impressive and large place, almost too grand to take in during one evening.
These people are bringing flowers as offerings.
In this photo you can see a monk with three other Burmese men. Note the dress of the three men. They are wearing longyis, which are circular pieces of fabric stepped into and then wrapped from each side into the middle and then rolled and tucked in in the front. Women too wear longyis but they wrap them differently, in such a way t
hat there is a pleat on one side.
Because my birth day is Thursday, I spent more time at the Thursday Corner.
There were many devout Buddhists in every corner and space.
The many niches are adorned with spectacular statues.
At the end of the evening, and just before everyone must leave Shwedagon Pagoda, the sweepers come through. They walk in a tight row and sweep the vast marble terrace. This is, for these volunteers, a noble act and one they carry out eagerly in an effort to gain merit.
After taking this photo, the woman in the black blouse asked if I would post this photo on Facebook. I tried to contact her on FB but found there are several people with the same or similar name. I do hope she, and her friends, see this photo.