Thu, February 23, 2012
Lifestyle > Culture

Banned festival returns to Myanmar

2012-02-23 03:13:05 GMT2012-02-23 11:13:05(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Myanmar's devotees carry palanquins with the status of Buddha during the 2,600th anniversary celebrations of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. Gongs chimed as thousands of people in ceremonial costumes walked barefoot Wednesday through the marble walkways of Myanmar's most sacred Buddhist shrine in an annual festival that was banned for more than 20 years under the former military government. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Myanmar's women in ancient dresses take part in the 2,600th anniversary celebrations of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. Gongs chimed as thousands of people in ceremonial costumes walked barefoot Wednesday through the marble walkways of Myanmar's most sacred Buddhist shrine in an annual festival that was banned for more than 20 years under the former military government. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Myanmar girls in ceremonial dresses wait to take part in the 2600th anniversary celebrations of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Myanmar girls in ceremonial dresses wait to take part in the 2600th anniversary celebrations of Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

Myanmar's land mark Shwedagon Pagoda is lit up during a preparation for 2,600 anniversary of its establishment, in Yangon, Myanmar Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. Vast crowds were gathering Wednesday at Myanmar's most sacred Buddhist shrine to celebrate a festival banned for more than 20 years under the former military government. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

Myanmar's land mark Shwedagon Pagoda is lit up during a preparation for 2,600 anniversary of its establishment, in Yangon, Myanmar Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. Vast crowds were gathering Wednesday at Myanmar's most sacred Buddhist shrine to celebrate a festival banned for more than 20 years under the former military government. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

Myanmar's land mark Shwedagon Pagoda is lit up during a preparation for 2,600 anniversary of its establishment, in Yangon, Myanmar Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. Vast crowds were gathering Wednesday at Myanmar's most sacred Buddhist shrine to celebrate a festival banned for more than 20 years under the former military government. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

Thousands came Feb. 22 for the return of an annual festival that was banned for more than 20 years by the former military regime. Gongs chimed at the diamond-studded Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon as it marked the 2,600-year anniversary of the temple, which according to legend houses eight strands of Buddha's hair.

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