The padauk is a sacred flower honored in the culture of Myanmar. It can be seen flowering during the celebration of the Thingyan festival (Burmese New Year), usually around mid-April. You'll find this holiday symbol in big cities such as Yangon or Mandalay, as well as any other bigger or smaller town or village. The flowers decorate all public places, temples, houses, and even vehicles. The Myanmar people carry gold flowers to the Buddha statues and other revered shrines. During the celebrations, people present gifts in the form of flower petals in a silver bowl to their deities. They also present flower necklaces to travelers showing hospitality and goodwill.
Even outside of the Thingyan festivities, the padauk remains an integral part of local culture. It is a favorite flower of poets and artists. According to a legend, the padauk flower symbolizes youth and love, strength, longevity, and success. Bouquets of the padauk are given to young girls as a token of love confession. Local women wear necklaces of padauk blooms as decoration. At last, the flower is often depicted on pottery and ceramics or sculpted in stone. Thus, the plant has long become a part of everyday life in Myanmar.