Harvest festival now comes in Tapoutwe (February), the eleventh month of the Burmese calendar. Burmese people planned to make Htamene (Glutinous rice) before the Taboutwe season. Several ingredients such as glutinous rice, coconut slices, sesame seeds, peanuts, generous amount of cooking oil would be needed for making Htamene. My grandparents organized Htamene party (harvest festival) from 1983 to 1996 in our garden. It was a long time ago, but I still remembered and missed them so much.
(Generous amount of cooking oil are prepared.)
Htamene party is either celebrated in community or in the family and friends. Before the Harvest festival, people prepared the ingredients, and hired professional team. It was a hard work to do. Although we could not do Htamene party since our grandparents passed away, we did not miss Htamene food. Our friends or our neighbors shared their Htamene with a small portion to us if they make that delicious food at their house. It was a Burmese custom. One can share their traditional food to friends if they are making it at their place, or at their office.
(People organized Htamene making at the Shwedagon Pagoda.)
(The team work. The ground was full of ingredients, and the giant pots.)
Htamene professional teams might be very busy in the Tapoutwe season. Sometimes, people organized Htamene (Harvest festival) at the pagodas. They collect donations from one who wants some share of Htamene. We can donate to the people who organized Htamene making, and then we would have some amount of portion after they finished. They hired professional team, and had Htamene made. In the early morning of the day before the full moon day of Taboutwe, they started their work. After the busy time between the early morning and the noon, Htamenes were ready to be served.
(Coconut slices are prepared.)
In the early morning, people went to the pagoda, and waited the time when Htamene was done. The giant pots of Htamene were one by one finished. So, our turn now comes. People can take their share of Htamene at the pagoda ground where Htamene was made.
(People came and wait at the pagoda ground to have their share.)
Every year, we donated to Shwedagon Pagoda in the Taboutwe season. The organizer returned to us half amount of Htamene from our donation. So, we have some amount of Htamene. The other half of our donation was offered at the Shweedagon Pagoda. So, we gained Kuthow (benefit) in the Tapoutwe season as offering our share at the pagoda. We can distribute our share again to our neighbors and friends.
(The giant pot of Htamene is busy right now.)