THE historic Shwesettaw Pagoda in Minbu (Sagu) Township, Minbu District, Magway Region, is packed with pilgrims during the pagoda festival, but it is allowed to visit in accordance with the COVID rules and regulations of the Ministry of Health, according to the Shwesettaw Pagoda Festival Committee.
In previous years, Shwesettaw Pagoda Festival was held for three months, from the 5th waxing day of Tabodwe to the 1st day of Myanmar New Year. In addition to the opening and closing ceremonies, locals in Minbu (Sagu) Township set up temporary guesthouses, shops, restaurants, clothes stalls, traditional pharmacies and local product shops with being crowded with people.
This year, despite a threemonth visiting period, there are over 90 guesthouses for the day rest only for pilgrims to relax and bathe in the Mann Creek keeping in line with COVID rules and regulations of the Ministry of Health. It costs K10,000 per guesthouse from 6 am to 6 pm. Overnight stays are not allowed in guesthouses.
The visitors, who come from far, can stay at nearby religious buildings, monasteries and temples in the Shwesettaw Pagoda compound by showing COVID-vaccinated certificates, CSC cards and household lists, explained U Tun Wai, vice-chairman of the Shwesettaw Pagoda Festival Committee. — Zeya Htet (Minbu)/GNLM