Myanmar Festivals

Myanmar is a Land of Festivals; in every month there is a festival. Most of the Myanmar festivals are cultural and religious in nature. Many festivals are related to pagoda festivals that people from surround towns and village come. The dates of the festivals and culture events are determined by the lunar year as Myanmar traditionally goes by 12 month lunar calendar.

Festivals in

Manaw Festival ( Kachin New Year Festival), Myitkyina , Kachin State

Kachin, the hill people or the Scots of Myanmar, celebrate this festival. It is one of the most popular festival in Myanmar and Manaw Festival is celebration of the New Year, Victory in battles, reunion of tribes etc.,

Ananda Pagoda Festival, Bagan

This is one of the most famous pagoda festivals in amazing and richest archaeological Bagan. The Great Ananda Pagoda Festival is said to have been going on continuously since the Bagan period. People from many villages around Bagan came to the festival in bullock-cards and made camps for the whole duration of festival. Visitors can definitely enjoy the traditional lifestyle of the locals of Bagan during this festival.

Naga New Year Festival

One of the most breathtaking and exciting events among many festivals in Myanmar. The Naga are one of Myanmar national races who live in Naga Land. Every Janurary, as the monsonon clouds recede and the cold wind blows from north, the Nagas celebrate the New year. All the Naga clans living in the shadow of Mt.Saramati congregate alternatively either at Leshi or Lahe, to say thanks to Mother Earth that has granted them the bountiful harvest.

Mahamuni Pagoda Festival, Mandalay

Falls on the full moon day of Thabodwe; February the coldest in Myanmar, at the Mahamuni Pagoda Festival, devotees light bonfire and cook huge pans of sticky rice with ginger, coconut and sesame to offer the monks.

Kyaik Khauk Pagoda Festival, Thanlyin(Syrium)

The Kyaik Khauk Pagoda is located across the Bago River from Yangon. The Festival held each year around the full moon day of Tabodwe. Kyaik Khauk features like most major festival. Local villagers often travel to the festival by bullock cart, camping on the Pagoda platform.  A free traditional puppet show is always part of the festivities.

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival, Yangon

Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the wonders of the world and the most venerable pagoda in Southeast Asia. And this festival is one of the most visited festivals for pilgrims all over the country. There is a competition to weave the holy robes using traditional looms to be offered to the Buddha Images at the four corners of the pagoda before dawn. Buddhist devotees pay homage every day and their donations go towards the preservation of the Pagoda.

Shwe Oo Min Pagoda Festival, Pindaya

 Pindaya  Shwe Oo Min cave festival is held on and around full moon day of Tabaung. Start seven days before the full moon day. Tribes from all over Shan State join this festival in their colorful costumes. You will find hundreds of small stalls selling delicious local foods, Shan handicrafts, all kinds of cheroods(Myanmar cigars), Shan umbrella and so on.

Kekku Pagoda Festival, Taunggyi

Kekku Paogda festival is also held on fullmoon day of Tabung.  On the full moon day,  Alms offering is carried out by the native (Pa-O) people dressed in their traditional black out fits. There is the festival market also.

Myanmar New Year Thingyan Water Festival

The Burmese New Year will be celebrated in April and everybody joins in the fun of dousing each other with water. People splash water passerby, powerful water pipes douse driving by in jeeps and truck. Children use water pistols to drench their friend, relative and anyone else in range. Elders take shelter in monasteries and pagoda precincts. Most of the local restaurants, markets and museums are closed and due to heavy traffic flow.

Kason Sacred Bo Tree Watering Ceremony (Country Wide)

Represent the day the Buddha was born, the day He attained Enlightenment, and the day of His passing, this festival falls on the day fo the full moon of Kason in Myanmar calendar, in early May.  To Myanmar, it is the festival of pouring water on the Bodhi tree. This day is called Vesak Day in other Buddhist countries.

Waso Full Moon Festival (country wide)

The month Waso is the beginning of the mosoon rains. The full-moon day of Waso is significant as the day the embryo-Buddha was conceived, the day He preached the first sermon of Dhamma Cakka, the day He performed the miracles. A significant practice of Waso is the offering of monk’s robes to members of the Sangha for use during the Lent and so these robes are called Waso robes. Likewise there are also big candles called Waso candles offered at this time of the year. Among lay people it is also a time to offer elders cakes, fruits, etc.,

Manuha Pagoda Festival, Bagan

Manuha Pagoda Festival  is held annually one day before the Full Moon day of Tawtalin. Depending on the Lunar Calendar, the festival fall the end of September or start of October.Beautiful village girls dressed in their best parade with trays fo fruits and cakes to offer at the pagoda. Young men parade with larger than life paper-made figures of heroes,  animals such as tigers, horses,etc. You can enjoy the sight  of the colorful paper mache figures and also the lifestyle of the Bagan locals. There are other entertainments such as Zat Pwe and Anyeint at the night time.

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival, Inle Lake

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival is one of the most famous pagodas festivals in Myanmar and the biggest and most important occasion in the Shan State. Four Buddha Images are taken around the lake in a glided barge pulled by hundreds of leg-rowers in long canoes in front. Thousands of people from communities around the lake and villages in the surrounding mountains carry fruits and flowers on lacquer trays in their own boats and pay homage pas the holy barge passes.

Thadinkyut Light Festival, (country wide)

Thandinkyut, marks the end of Buddhist Lent; full moon day of Thandingyut, one of the most prominent festivals of the year.  The festival of lights is held for three days including the day before full moon, full moon day and the day after involving all manner of lights, lamps, Candels and fireworks.  Thadinkyut is not only for joyous also thanksgiving and paying homage to Buddhist monks, teachers, parents and elders.

Hot Air Balloons Festival, Taunggyi

Hot Air Balloons festival is held only once a year after the end of the Bddhist Lent. Traditionally it is the festival to pay homage to the Sulamani Pagoda in heaven by sending up decorated balloons;  is the most crowded and colorful festival in Myanmar.

Kyaikhtyio Pagoda Festival, Kyaikhtiyo

The impressive Golden Rock Pagoda festival;nine thousands of oil-lit offering is held on the pagoda platform.