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Festivals

Festivals of Myanmar

Myanmar is a land of festivals, color and tradition. Some of the most popular festivals of Myanmar are as follows:

January

  • Naga New Year Festival takes place in January and continues for 3 days in Lathe or Layshi, Savgaing Region. This is a unique Myanmar festival with over 49 clans appearing in their own exclusive dresses and distinctive dialects to celebrate New Year on 15th January.
  • Ananda Pagoda Festival is one of the most popular ones and Ananda Pagoda is the most famous pagodas in Bagan. This is one of the oldest festivals of Myanmar which continues for 15 days on Full Moon of Pyatho to 15th Waning of Pyatho.
  • Kachin Manaw Festival takes place on the 1st week of January where Kachins from all over the world come to participate. Kachin festival takes place in Myitkyina, Kachin State where New Year is celebrated by dancing and worshiping Nat or spirit.

February

  • Htamane Festival which is the glutinous rice festival is a popular one in Myanmar. This festival happens on the full moon day of Tabodwe when teams compete to donate rice to Lord Buddha. This festival takes place all across the country and the first team is awarded a prize as well.

March-April

  • Novitiation Ceremony is a matter of pride for the fathers when they let their sons become a part of the Sangha and learn Lord Buddha’s preachings. The ceremony involves lots of people dressed as prince parading around the pagodas. It is generally observed between March and April during school holidays.
  • Zalun Pyi-Taw-Pyan Buddha Image Festival is celebrated on the 8th waxing to Full Moon Day of Tabaung. It continues for 8 days in Zalun. The Buddha Image was taken to England by the British to use the bronze. However, they could not melt it and the Queen started suffering from headache. She ordered to return it and the festival is celebrated in honor of Buddha’s Image to commemorate the event.
  • Thingyan or the Water Festival is a world famous festival of Myanmar. It usually starts from 13th April and ends on 17thApril. It is a rare festival which takes place throughout Myanmar. The unique tradition is to get drenched in water when others pour water over you. Pavilions are built for this festival and water pouring is accompanied with singing and dancing. The festival signifies cleansing of the body, mind and soul and the citizens do good deeds to observe this. This is the most exciting festival in Myanmar.

May

  • Pouring water on Bodhi Tree is a ritual followed by Myanmar citizens all over the country on the Full Moon Day of Kason. This ritual is practiced to commemorate Lord Buddha’s enlightenment under the celebrated Tree.

October

  • Dancing Elephants Festival takes place on One day before the full moon day of Thadingyut and the full moon day Kyaukse at around 40 km southeast of Mandalay for 2 days.

November

  • Hot Air Balloon Festival is celebrated on full moon day of Tazaungmone Taunngyi in southern Shan State for 3 days.

 December

  • Kyaik-hti-yo ‘Golden Rock’ Pagoda Festival is one of the popular festivals of Myanmar. It is celebrated on the full moon day of Thadingyut. In this festival, Nine Thousand Lamps or candles are lighted in Magway, Magway Region.
  • Popa Guardian Spirits Festival on 8th Waxing to Full Moon Day of Nadaw in North Okkalapa Township, for Yangon Region. Duration: 8 days.
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