What is Shinbyu Novitiation Ceremony?
According to Buddhist tradition, Siddhartha Gautama had fathered a son before attaining enlightenment and becoming Lord Buddha. Before founding the Buddhist religion, Siddhartha had been a prince in a small kingdom in Northern India. When his son came of age, the boy asked Siddhartha for the princely inheritance that was his birthright. In response, Lord Buddha had his disciples remove the boy’s fine garments, shave his head, and wrap him in the simple robes of a Buddhist monk. The boy was then taken to a monastery, and his religious training began.
The Shinbyu Novitiation Ceremony is Myanmar’s continuation of this legendary ceremony. Across the country during the school break, Buddhist monasteries open their doors to accept boys between 9 and 19-years-old for their first religious training. The children are dressed in fine silk clothing usually adorned with semi-precious stones, and then paraded through town to the nearest monastery. Upon arrival, the boys beg the monastery’s abbot for acceptance. After the short ceremony, the children’s heads are shaved and their princely garments are exchanged for the simple red robes of Myanmar’s Buddhist monks. The young men will spend at least a week living in the monastery as a monk.
When is Shinbyu Novitiation Ceremony?
Shinbyu Novitiation Ceremonies are usually held between April and March when the public schools in Myanmar are on summer holiday. The exact date of the ceremony is determined by the abbots of the monasteries, who select dates considered to be religiously auspicious for the community. If you’re interested in seeing a Shinbyu Ceremony, our Travel Specialists can make the appropriate arrangements while discussing your travel plans.
Shinbyu Novitiation Ceremony Highlights:
This colorful ritual is a pillar of Myanmar’s mostly Buddhist culture. The acceptance of a son into a monastery for training is considered one of the greatest merit-making rituals in Myanmar, and families without sons will often sponsor poorer children for the ceremonies. This ancient ritual provides guests on our luxury tours of Myanmar an exciting window into fabric of the country’s religious identity.
Where is Shinbyu Novitiation Ceremony Celebrated?
Shinbyu Novitiation Ceremonies are held at Buddhist monasteries across Myanmar. If you’re interested in witnessing one of the ceremonies, our Travel Specialists can incorporate a visit into your Myanmar tour package.
When visiting Buddhist monasteries, it’s best to dress in conservative clothing that covers shoulders to knees in keeping with traditions of modesty.