One if the more curious elements of Buddhism here is the incorporation of Nat worship
They are 37 spirits of people who have died violently or unnaturally.
They predate Buddhism but King Anawrahtra decreed they should be part of the official system of Buddhism so that he wouldn’t alienate people who venerated them
Although he decided there were 37 Nats on reality there are many more
Cycling through the countryside here or even in the city you wil see little shrines or doll house like structures built to appease the local Nat.
In houses they will have un husked coconuts with a red turban representing The Lord of the Mountain
Tree spirits believed to cast influence over a village will be represented by red and white ribbons
They are everywhere here.
But my favourite Nat has got to be Lord Kyawswa
He’s from Mount Popa an extinct volcano which gives stunning views of the plain.
He’s also known as the Drunk Nat who spent his years cockfighting and drinking.
He’s known to say “if you don’t like me avoid me,I’m a drunkard”
He’s the guardian of gamblers and drunks
Ill pray to him …
Pics of Nat shrines ,,.