Millenniums ago our ancestor’s life was hard. They had to struggle for their daily needs, while they dreamed about cornucopia. They had to think about constant danger from natural disasters like earthquakes, storms, floods while hoping for deliverance. Threat from carnivores like tigers, lions, on land, and sharks, crocodiles in water also forced our ancestors to be humble but also innovative and inventive always looking for improvements in their lives. Of course, life in those times was not all drudgery. There were bards with heroic epics and storytellers to relieve their monotony of existence.
Those bards and storytellers were good at spinning yarn. Their stories and tales were handed down generation to generation. Their fruits of imagination created a myriad of myths and legends. Those myths and legends got woven into the patchwork quilt of history, forming a mosaic. That mosaic is our cultural heritage.
One of those yarns that survived the trial and tribulations of countless generations is Galon. According to researchers it originated as Garurr in Bharat, now internationally called India. From there it spread its wings flew to all lands and islands of south and south-east Asia and settled down in all corners of this vast region.
In Indonesia it is Garuda. It is the flag carrier of the nation. It is their national airline. Garuda is nothing but local version of Bharati Garurr. In Myanmar it is Galon. It is transliteration of Sanskrit Garurr according to Myanmar orthographic principles.
It has been so long with us that our ancestors have also added a considerable adornments to its mythology. In fact, most of us never give a second thought to its non-indigenous origins. It is lord of skies and most powerful bird. It is the king of birds. It is the enemy of Nagar and is supposed to crack its skull and eat its brain. Nagar or Dragon is another serpent a terrible menace in its own right. It is believed to be a very powerful bird with some human qualities. Ferocious looking visage, powerful beak, strong wings, sharp, stout claws instill terror into the heart of a Nagar.
Researchers are sure that Galon came to Myanmar along with Indian astrology. In Hindu astrology Galon represents Sunday. It rules over the north-east corner. It represents the planet Sun and among the days of the week, it holds sway on Sunday. Its planetary age is six years in Myanmar astrology. Due to those reasons, planetary post at the north-east of the pagoda has a small figure of Galon on the top. Sunday borns are called Galons.
Sourced: Myanmar Culture Traditions and Scenery, Mythical Creatures
by U Than Pe, Tour guide