Thousands flock to Shwedagon in Myanmar to mark the Buddhist Festival of Lights

The country has been in turmoil since the military overthrew the government of Aung San Suu Kyi in 2021, with fighting continuing in many regions and the economy in tatters.

To mark Thadingyut last year, the junta announced an amnesty for hundreds of protesters detained since the coup, sending families rushing to the prison gates and sparking joyful reunions across the country.

The junta has so far announced no amnesty to mark this year’s three-day festival, which ends on Monday.

“I pray for the displaced people,” a woman told AFP amid the slowly moving crowd, asking not to say her name.

“I want to see our country in peace, but all I can do on this full moon day is pray.”