Thanakha - Myanmar's Traditional Face Painting

Visitors to Myanmar can hardly without paying attention to the Thanakha, a unique make up distinctive to women in this country, both in daily life and during traditional festivals.


A woman smears thanakha cream on her face to avoid sunburn

Thanakha is a natural cosmetic including the ground bark of thanakha tree into power combined with water, then smeared onto faces. It not only prevents them from sunburn but also serve as a mild astringent and cosmetic for Burmese women. They love to use thanakha to paint their faces after bathing and like a makeup kit carried every day.


A little girl with her thanakha  painting face



The custom of face painting with Thanakha has been an important tradition for a long time. In Myanmar monarchy, thanakha also show the social position of women. High class women often use light brown one, the nicest and most precious is for the princess. For now, common people use the mixed with yellow pollen from the Gant Gaw flower. On New Year’s Eve, in the evening, Burmese girls grind thanakha bark whilst young men play music and dance. Once it turns to be thanakha cream, they all go to nearby pagodas to take part in the ritual of wash the Buddha faces.


For Myanmar’s women, thanakha face painting remains a regular custom from generations to generations. Besides, you might also need some brief information in Myanmar travel guide before visiting the unique Burma.


An amazing visitor with her face of thanakha cream


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