The Very First Myanmar Thanakha Festival in Yangon
When you are in Myanmar, you will notice the yellowish paste found painted on the faces of Burmese women and children, called Thanakha, everywhere. Thanakha paste is made by grinding the bark and roots of Thanakha trees and mixing it with water on a stone slab called a Kyauk-Pyin. This paste is applied in stripes, circular patches, or ornate leaf patterns on the cheeks, noses, and forehead leaving yellow trails. Its sandalwood scent is another reason for its attractiveness. Myanmar people wear it on face, neck, hands, and legs as a natural and efficient sunscreen against the hot tropical sun.
Role of Thanakha in the 21st century
In modern days where Korean cosmetics are all over the places, demands for raw Thanakha blocks have decreased in recent years. Instead of making the paste by grinding the Thanakha wood on Kyauk-Pyin, Thanakha producers have to develop a new option: ready-to-wear Thanakha paste, lotion, powder, and even perfume. On the other hand, if producers make their Thanakha products very close to other cosmetics, they are risking their base since most users do not prefer the readymade Thanakha makeup for including chemicals. Besides, hand-ground Thanakha lasts a whole day while readymade Thanakha wears off quicker.
As everyone has their own perspective on wearing Thanakha either hand-grinded or ready-made, you can't deny the fact that Thanakha is the symbol of Myanmar people. Thanakha has become such an integral part of Burmese culture, it is even used as a ritual mask during the traditional festivals.
Myanmar Thanakha Festival 2019 is happening in Yangon
In this year, the very first "Myanmar Thanakha Festival" will be held on the Valentine's Day to promote the role of Thanakha in daily life as well as to spread its unique benefits to all visitors. Of course, many big Kyauk-Pyin and authentic Thanakha woods will be displayed at the entrance for all visitors to try it for free.
Thanakha ready-made brands, local food stalls, traditional performances, entertainment, etc. will be included in the festival. In addition, Thanakha-grinding competition, Thanakha-wearing competition, and photography contest will also be included to make the festival exclusive. This six-day event will be started on 12th February (Union Day) till 17th February, from 11 am to 10:30 pm. The performance activities will start at 4 pm every day. The event location is Sanchaung Food Town, People Park in Yangon.