March 24-30, 2008 Myanmar's first international weekly © Volume 21, No. 411
 
 
 

Constructing a pandal for festival fun

By Kyaw Zin Htun and Yadana Htun
Pandals need to be strong enough to withstand full force of Thingyan celebrations.

AS the largest annual event in Myanmar, the Thingyan Festival, draws nearer, festival merrymakers will also begin to plan how they will celebrate this exciting time of year.

Many people will want to welcome the event from a pandal and saturate brave passers-by with water, while some people want to drive around town in pickups or jeeps.

Building a pandal can be a big job, so here are some tips for those who plan on constructing a pandal this Thingyan. We hope they will help you to enjoy the Myanmar New Year happily and without any worries.

If you plan to build a pandal:

You should consider the overall cost of a pandal and work out some sort of a budget to ensure you have enough money. The estimated cost of a medium-sized pandal is about K20 million and a large pandal can accommodate a maximum of about 400 people.

If you decide to go ahead with building a pandal for the water festival the first thing you have to do is to apply for the various required permissions from the organisations concerned.

Permission to build a pandal is required from the Water Festival Disciplinary Committee and other permission, for water supply and use of the pavement, is granted by the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC).

Applications also require the design and the situational drawing of the pandal.
Once you get permission to go ahead with building your pandal, you can move on to the next step, the actual construction.

It takes about ten days to construct a pandal. You can either build with your own team of friends or get sub-contracters and professional organisers to build and decorate the pandal.

The cost of constructing a pandal varies depending on the size and the materials you build with.

Ko San Htun Oo, of Golden Leo Advertising, estimates the cost of building an 80-foot-wide, three-deck pandal is somewhere between K2.5 and K4 million.
He says three-deck pandals are a popular choice among his customers but some even build as high as four levels to accommodate all their friends.

Water, Water, Water:

You need to apply to the Water and Sanitation Department, under the YCDC, who give permission for pandals to use water from Inya and Kandawgyi lakes and from the committee’s own pipelines – water from this source is charged according to the fixed rates.

Last year’s Thingyan festival the committee charged K40,000 for a one-inch pipe, K60,000 for a two-inch pipeline and K140,000 for a three inch pipeline to supply water to the pandals.

Most of the big pandals have at least three piplines to provide water and some pandals on Inya road opt to use water from Inya lake.

Decorating your pandal:

Some pandal organisers choose to decorate their stage with disco lights while others opt to decorate their pandal with vinyl advertisements, which are provided by sponsors.

Ko Bo Bo, from Everlight Disco Lights Sales, said the rental charge for disco lights ranges from K500,000 and K2 million.

AS the largest annual event in Myanmar, the Thingyan Festival, draws nearer, festival merrymakers will also begin to plan how they will celebrate this exciting time of year.

Many people will want to welcome the event from a pandal and saturate brave passers-by with water, while some people want to drive around town in pickups or jeeps.

Building a pandal can be a big job, so here are some tips for those who plan on constructing a pandal this Thingyan. We hope they will help you to enjoy the Myanmar New Year happily and without any worries.

If you plan to build a pandal:

You should consider the overall cost of a pandal and work out some sort of a budget to ensure you have enough money. The estimated cost of a medium-sized pandal is about K20 million and a large pandal can accommodate a maximum of about 400 people.

If you decide to go ahead with building a pandal for the water festival the first thing you have to do is to apply for the various required permissions from the organisations concerned.

Permission to build a pandal is required from the Water Festival Disciplinary Committee and other permission, for water supply and use of the pavement, is granted by the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC).

Applications also require the design and the situational drawing of the pandal.
Once you get permission to go ahead with building your pandal, you can move on to the next step, the actual construction.

It takes about ten days to construct a pandal. You can either build with your own team of friends or get sub-contracters and professional organisers to build and decorate the pandal.

The cost of constructing a pandal varies depending on the size and the materials you build with.

Ko San Htun Oo, of Golden Leo Advertising, estimates the cost of building an 80-foot-wide, three-deck pandal is somewhere between K2.5 and K4 million.
He says three-deck pandals are a popular choice among his customers but some even build as high as four levels to accommodate all their friends.

Water, Water, Water:

You need to apply to the Water and Sanitation Department, under the YCDC, who give permission for pandals to use water from Inya and Kandawgyi lakes and from the committee’s own pipelines – water from this source is charged according to the fixed rates.

Last year’s Thingyan festival the committee charged K40,000 for a one-inch pipe, K60,000 for a two-inch pipeline and K140,000 for a three inch pipeline to supply water to the pandals.

Most of the big pandals have at least three piplines to provide water and some pandals on Inya road opt to use water from Inya lake.

Decorating your pandal:

Some pandal organisers choose to decorate their stage with disco lights while others opt to decorate their pandal with vinyl advertisements, which are provided by sponsors.

Ko Bo Bo, from Everlight Disco Lights Sales, said the rental charge for disco lights ranges from K500,000 and K2 million.

Music:
If you want to play music, you’ll need speakers. Rental costs vary greatly, from K1 million to K15 million depending on the type and number.

Speakers are an important feature of any pandal, to both attract an audience and drown out the noise of car engines and people’s voices. To get the perfect sound it’s important to have many speakers on your pandal.

If you want to play music, you’ll need speakers. Rental costs vary greatly, from K1 million to K15 million depending on the type and number.

Speakers are an important feature of any pandal, to both attract an audience and drown out the noise of car engines and people’s voices. To get the perfect sound it’s important to have many speakers on your pandal.

The cost of hiring a DJ ranges from K1 million to K5 million but this fee does not include the hiring of a mixer – which costs between K1 million and K2 million.

If you want to have a live music band on your stage, you will need to spend between K10-40 million, which doesn’t include the fees for vocalists.

Though most of the bands should be hired two months in advance, some famous bands have been booked for Thingyan since last December.

Feeding the masses:

Some pandal organisers choose to order food from restaurants while others opt to order food from individual catering services, who usually provide free delivery to the pandal.

Most of the pandals provide Chinese-style food – such as fried rice, fried noodles and fried vermicelli, which can cost between K 2000 and K3000 – for lunch.

Sponsors:

It is possible to get sponsoring companies to stump up cash for your pandal. Main sponsors provide up to K5 million and other compani-es provide cash up to K2 million, as co-sponsor.

Selling tickets to enjoy the party:

Most pandals advertise on billboards and hand out pamphlets to attract patrons and some also choose to advertise on notice boards at supermarkets.
The average price last year for admission to pandals on Inya Road was between K40,000 and K80,000, for the whole of Thingyan. Daily ticket prices are about K15,000 for men and K10,000 for women.

Most of the pandals give a complimentary ticket when you purchase ten tickets and most also arrange some sort of transportation service.

To ensure security of your pandal:

There are many security agencies which provide security services to pandals during the festival so choose the one that best meet your needs and budgets.
Most pandals usually hire about 10 security guards for their patrons’ safety.

Demolishing your pandal after Thingyan:

After partying for the whole of Thingyan, it’s easy to forget about that you need to demolish the pandal when you’re finished – the deadline is Myanmar New Year’s Day.

Most of the professional organisers also offer demolishing services for pandals. All the timber can be re-sold and the water supply can be disconnected by contacting the township development committee.

   
         
For further information and enquiries, please contact
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No. 379/383, Bo Aung Kyaw Street, Kyauktada Township, Yangon Myanmar.
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