Festivals around Myanmar
There is a saying that Myanmar celebrates a festival every month. Fortunately our guests there are, even more, spread across the whole country throughout the year. This affords visitors a wonderful opportunity to gain firsthand insight into the living culture of Myanmar. You can calculate the exact dates of the festivals according to the Myanmar lunar calendar. Please check with us for details. Festivals around Myanmar are like country fairs, while nat (spirit) ceremonies are accompanied by plenty of music, dancing, and eating.
- Ananda Temple Festival, Bagan, one of the biggest festivals in the country, begins seven days before the full moon day of the lunar month of Python.
- Naga New Year Festival requires bookings weeks ahead as it is held in very remote villages, usually a few days before January 15.
- Shwesettaw Pagoda Festival, on the banks of Mann Chaung Creek in Magwe Division, starts on the fifth waxing moon day of Tabodwe and ends after Myanmar New Year in April.
- Kyaik Khauk Pagoda Festival occurs in Thanlyin, a 30-minute drive from Yangon, beginning seven days before the full moon day of Tabodwe.
- Kekku Pagoda Festival in Shan State starts three or four days before the full moon day of Tabaung. Pa-O people gather to pay homage to the shrines they hold most holy.
- Mawtinsoun Pagoda Festival, on the southwestern coast of Myanmar, can be reached by boat from Pathein. It begins seven days before the full moon day of Tabaung.
Shwemawdaw Pagoda Festival in Bago starts on the eighth waxing moon day of Taegu.
- The four-day Thingyan Water Festival precedes Myanmar New Year, which usually falls on April 17. All over the country, roadside platforms are built from which young people hose down revelers in passing cars. People carry water guns or buckets to douse anyone seen on the street.
- Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay hosts a cane-ball (chin) festival that starts on the first waxing day of Nayon and lasts for a full month, attracting players from around the country.
- Robe offering ceremonies, no vitiation ceremonies, and other religious rituals take place from April until the beginning of Lent on the full moon day of Waso in June or July.
- Taungbyone Nat Festival near Mandalay begins on the eighth waxing moon day of Wagaung and lasts a week. This is the biggest spirit festival in Myanmar, with mediums and devotees coming from all over the country to take part.
- Yadana Gu Nat Festival carries on when the Taungbyone Festival ends. It takes place on the banks of Taungthaman Lake in Amarapura, near Mandalay.
- Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival at Inle Lake,Shan State, kicks off on the first waxing moon day of Thadingyut. The task of carrying sacred Buddha images on a barge from village to village around the lake lasts 18 days.
- Shwezigon Pagoda Festival, Bagan, begins on the first waxing moon day of Thadingyut. Of special interest is the full moon day ritual of offering filled alms bowls to hundreds of monks and novices.
- Kyauktawgyi Pagoda in Mandalay hosts a four-day festival ending on the day after the full moon day of Thadingyut.
- Three-day festivals of light marking the end of Buddhist Lent are held throughout the country, starting from the day ahead to the day after the full moon day of Thadingyut.
- The Dancing Elephant Festival in Kyaukse, near Mandalay, draws teams of dancers wearing cloth elephant costumes. The two-day festival begins a day before the full moon day of Thadingyut.
- Peoples celebrate Dipavali Light at Hindu temples all over the country.
- The Fire Balloon Competition in Taunggyi, Shan State, starts on the 10th waxing moon day of Tazaungmone and lasts six days. Peoples judge the Balloons on basis of size, style, design, and their ability to stay aloft for long periods. On the night of the full moon, Taunggyi residents hold a parade in which they carry lanterns.
- Peoples celebrate Robe weaving contests all over the country and are a major event at Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. On the night before the full moon day of Tazaungmone, teams of weavers compete to finish huge robes during the night, to be offered to Buddha images at dawn the next day.
- Popa Nat Festival near Bagan goes on for six days starting on the full moon day of Nadal.
- Peoples celebrate December 31 at Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock) with devotees lighting thousands of candles at the shrine in the evening
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