YANGON, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- People were seen busily entering Myanmar's traditional Htamane (sticky rice)-making competitions in two major cities of Yangon and Mandalay Saturday with high spirit, accompanied by traditional music groups and fans.
Many of such competitions are held at monasteries and pagoda compounds, while some others were held in residential areas, partly to attract visitors and promote tourism.
No invitations are necessary. Just walk into any competition and you will be warmly welcomed, according to Myanmar traditional customs.
In every February, the Myanmar people organize competitions to make the finest sticky rice. The glutinous rice, either white or black, is put in a huge iron wok. Water and oil were added. Then the rice was cooked and stirred at the same time by teams of muscular youths. Slowly other ingredients such as coconut shavings, sesame seeds, groundnuts, sliced ginger are added to enhance the flavor.
At first, stirring seemed to be easy, but slowly it got harder and harder as the rice grains soaked up water and swelled, and consequently things in the wok became one sticky mess of glutinous matter which was very difficult to stir.
Sweating from brows, the youths tried harder to stir the sticky pudding, making sure everything was thoroughly mixed inside the rice.
After the stirring and cooking, women would busily distribute the delicious ticky rice pudding to monks and pilgrims as charity food.
Small packets of the sticky rice pudding were also given to neighbors and friends by children as a popular snack.