Mont Lone Yay Paw & Sa Tu Di Thar
Celebration of the Thingyan Festival is incomplete until you get to feast on the seasonal snack called Mont Lone Yay Paw. The name, Mont Lone Yay Paw, can literally be translated to “round snack that floats on water.” Mont Lone Yay Paw is basically sticky rice balls with palm jaggery rolled inside and shredded coconuts outside. It is the perfect sweet to eat after getting splashed with cold water because of its chewiness and hardiness, which will give you the energy you need. After cooking the snack, the soot of the pot is often wiped on someone else’s face as a prank. Also, playful people might switch the jaggery with Bird’s Eye chili peppers as a prank. Its enjoyable for children or quite bonding moment with a stranger. So be sure to keep a water bottle near you!
Spirit of Thingyan in Sa Tu Di Thar
You can find Mont Lone Yay Paw all over but its the best to get some from a Sa Tu Di Thar. Sa Tu Di Thar are the hundreds of tents set up all over the street that feed hungry celebrators. These are very welcoming spaces staffed by folks who will commonly invite you into the tent for food. They are also safe zones from water play, an which is appreciated, no one enjoys being soaked while eating. The food they serve is free but you should really give a fair donation so they can continue with this Thingyan tradition. Don’t let the language barrier deter you from joining a tent, the experience is about giving and sharing, things that don’t need words to be expressed. Myanmar Skate Association summed up best what Sa Tu Di Thar is in a Facebook post during last Thingyan.
Feature photo from meemalee.com. Written by Htun Lynn Zaw and Charlie Michio Turner