As part of the pagoda festival at Tat Ein village in Shan State, there was a special ceremony where donations were offered to other monasteries in the area. Monks, novice monks, and even nuns, from monasteries in various villages in this part of Shan State were invited to attend.
Locals from Tat Ein village dished out donations of rice and money, and also presented the monks and nuns with gifts such as robes and other foodstuff and cooking oil. Some of the Pa-O villagers played music and danced, giving the event a very festive flair. The morning bled into afternoon; more donations, more ceremonies, more dancing, children running around and playing. I was enthralled by the whole spectacle, not wanting it to end.
Eventually, though, things did wind down and villagers starting packing up, taking home donations of bags of rice and other goodies. Most of them jammed into the back of pickup trucks for the long ride back to their village, hoping to arrive before sundown. A long day, but a fun one.