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Peace bell rings at Shwedagon Pagoda

Rangoon (Mizzima) – The daughter of former U.N. Secretary- General U Thant conducted a “peace bell” ringing ceremony at the “Sunday Corner” of Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon on Tuesday to coincide with the equinox, when the Sun is above the equator and day and night are of equal length.

Aye Aye Thant, the daughter of former U.N. General-Secretary U Thant, rings the bell in Shwedagon Pagoda on the equinox. Photo: MizzimaAye Aye Thant, the daughter of U Thant, told Mizzima that a small group of people rang the bell and offered prayers for world peace.

“My father, U Thant, rang a peace bell at the U.N. in 1971 for the first time, and he prayed for world peace,” Aye Aye Thant said.

The word, "equinox," is derived from the Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night). In some countries, the equinox is celebrated as “Earth Day.”

Khin Aung Bo, the chairman of the Myanmar Astrological Research Association, told Mizzima that the equinox was a significant time, according to Burmese traditional astrology.

“It’s the day the “Sunday Planet” (the Sun) is exactly above the equator. In other words, Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, will start at 12:45 today (Tuesday), according to astrology. At that time, the earth is balanced, and it represents peace.” 

Aye Aye Thant said her father rang the peace bell at the U.N. not only for world peace but also for nature conservation.

Aye Aye Thant has formed a U Thant Institute in the U.S. To conduct the ceremony in Burma, she had to apply for a permit from the chief minister of Rangoon Region.

About 30 people including her family members, friends and members of a “Sunday corner group” attended the ceremony.
The bell at the “Sunday Corner” (the northeast corner) of Shwedagon Pagoda was donated by King Thayawaddy. It is the second largest bell in Burma and was made in 1843. It weighs about 42 tons and is 7-feet high with a radius of 6 feet.

The Peace Bell at U.N. headquarters in New York was made from coins donated by children from around the world.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 21 March 2012 13:29 )  

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