A HARVEST FESTIVAL
Sangermano says that the cocks were trained to fight with knives on their spurs. Cock-fighting was, moreover, a royal pastime, and Pagan Men was, like our King Charles II., so fond of it that he was called " the cock-fighting king."
New year's festivals, religious feasts, weddings, ear-boring ceremonies, and pws all give the Burmans plenty of opportunities for jollity and fun ; but, as in the merry days of old England, the harvest festival is the most innocent and idyllic of them all, and illustrates in a striking way how everything in Burma, even business, is inextricably mixed up with religious duty, almsgiving, and fun ; a triad which finds its counterpart in the English charity bazaar, but with this difference, that in Burma the alliance is spontaneous, and does not require the great exertions of a committee and a subscription list. When the rice harvest has been safely gathered in, the farmer decides, out of the fulness of his heart, to make a present of rice to the monks at the village kioung and to his poorer neighbours. On these occasions the grain is not given away in a raw state, but is made into a mess composed of onions, ginger, pepper, sesa-mum seeds, and sliced cocoa-nut, which are well boiled with the rice and then go by the name of" taman." But before this, the rice has to be husked. This is, as a rule, done by the women of the household, but a harvest festival is an occasion for gallantry and flirtation, and the young men of the village are called upon to husk the rice for the girls. A lucky evening having been selected by
A BURMESE GIRL.A BURMESE GIRL.