January
4-Jan 4-Jan Independence Day The whole country
  Celebrations arranged by the governement at People's Park in Yangon and across the whole country. Ceremonies are very early at 04:20 AM and can mostly not be attended. Mostly early morning. All offices and markets are closed  
 
14-Jan 14-Jan Kayin New Year The whole country
 
21-Jan 21-Jan Ananda Pagoda Festival Bagan
 
23-Jan 23-Jan Kaya State Day Kaya State
 
23-Jan 23-Jan Nar-ga New Year Chin State
 

 


February

12-Feb 12-Feb Union Day The whole country
  Celebrations arranged by the governement at People's Park in Yangon and across the whole country. Mostly early morning. All offices and markets are closed  
 
14-Feb 14-Feb Feast of Shan Harvest Day Shan State
 
15-Feb 15-Feb Shan State Day Shan State
 
20-Feb 27-Feb Mahamuni Ceremony Mandalay
  01st –09th  waxing day, ceremony in which a number of monks chant Buddhist scriptures non-stop. 08th waxing day till fullmoon day: the real festivals days with evening entertainment such as Zats (a variety of dance, song and short & long plays), Anyeints ( a performance of a few hours in which a number of “jokers” ( usually four) caricature current situations and /or persons strung together by a traditional dancer) and popular movies shown in open air. In the day time, there are many stalls selling various kinds of Myanmar snacks displayed in continuous rows of long tables.

On the 08th waxing day(20th Feb), there is a communal offering of food (dry rations) and various domestic articles to monks from the nearby monasteries   ( ca.100) lined up as in usual offerings.
 
 
20-Feb 28-Feb Kyaik-Khauk Pagoda Festival Syriam
 

 


March

2-Mar 2-Mar Peasants' Day The whole country
  Held in honour of the country’s largest productive workforce.  
 
7-Mar 13-Mar Nyan Taw Pagoda Festival (Shwe Myin Tin Pagoda)
 
Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin)
  Similar to most of the pagoda festivals with most of the ingredients as in the Mahamuni Pagoda Festival. It is a famous pagoda festival in Maymyo. In addition, we can observe several Shan and other ethnic groups who come from the hills to sell their products.  
 
14-Mar 28-Mar Maw-din Pagoda Festival Ngapudaw, near Pathein
 
14-Mar 28-Mar Pakhan Ko Gyi Kyaw Festival Shwe Gu Ni Village
  Regional Nat festival like Taung Byone and Yadanar Gu. (between Pakokku
and Mingyan)
 
14-Mar 28-Mar Shwe Saryan Pagoda Festival        Shwe Saryan Village,
  45 minutes drive form Mandalay on the way to Maymyo (near Hton Bo), You can also take a small boat on the Douhtawaddy River and visit the pagodas nearby, Myanmar traditional toys, boxes, baskets, mats made of dried toddy palm leaves are the best selling village products in this festival. Patheingyi Mandalay
 
21-Mar 28-Mar Indawgyi Festival Hopin, near Myitkyina
  Ca. 100 miles far from Myitkyina. Approx. Five hours drive up to Indawgyi. This festival is held yearly for ten days. One intriguing fact is that two sandbanks are washed up by the waves before the festival begins so that people can walk from the bank to the pagoda. People believe that one is for human use and the other is a passage for the gods. These two sandbanks disappear into the lake shortly after the festival.  
 
22-Mar 28-Mar Zalun Pyidawpyan Image Festival Zalun, near Pathein
 
23-Mar 28-Mar Baw-gyo Festival  near Shipaw
  Once a year, only during the festival days, the locked up “four Buddha images” are brought out for display, worship and gilding with gold leaf. We can see tea-growing Palaung tribes from the hills and jewelers from Kyauk Me who try and sell their products there. Many kinds of gambling are allowed during the festival days only.  
 
27-Mar 27-Mar Armed Forces Day The whole country
 
27-Mar 28-Mar Nay Win Taung Pagoda Festival Maymyo
  Same as Nyan Taw Pagoda Festival. Traditional Shan festival. It takes place in the northern part of Maymyo, about an hour’s drive from the downtown area.  
 
27-Mar 29-Mar Katku Pagoda Festival Katku
 
27-Mar 29-Mar Pindaya Cave Festival Pindaya
 
28-Mar 28-Mar Tabaung Fullmoon Day The whole country
  Ceremonies are held at pagodas all over the country  
 

 


April

13-Apr 16-Apr Water Festival The whole country
  Myanmar people celebrate the famous waterfestival called “Thingyan”. One cannot avoid of getting very wet because every one throws water at everybody. People drive through the city in open cars and there are stages along the street where people throw water. During this time, everything is closed: restaurants, shops, markets, Museum, etc.  
 
14-Apr 15-Apr Sand Stupa Festival Min Thar Su Quarter
  In three different Mandalay quarters stupas are built with sand within 01 night. Sand stupas are built up with five segments gradually converging to the top. Each layer of white sand is supported by bamboo-mats and -posts. The celebration dates are not the same and depend on the different quarters where the festival is held. Mandalay
 
17-Apr 17-Apr Myanmar New Year The whole country
  This is the start of the new year and the end of the waterfestival. The whole country is very quiet and everything is closed.  
 
17-Apr 17-Apr Popa Ceremony Mt. Popa
  Nat dances on Mt. Popa. Very crowded and difficult to get up the mountain.  
 
20-Apr 2-May Shwemawdaw Pagoda Festival Bago
 

 


May

1-May 1-May May Day The whole country
 
24-May 25-May Sand Stupa Festival - see 14 April Yahai Quarter Mandalay
 
25-May 26-May Sand Stupa Festival - see 14 April 21st street,
      Pa Le Ngwe Yaung Qrter
      Mandalay
 
25-May 26-May Shwe Kyet Yet Event Shwe Kyet Yet,
      Amarapura
 
26-May 26-May Kason Fullmon Day The whole country
  Pouring water to the sacred Bo tree. No other special entertainment. Just only a small ceremony all over the country. Especially lots of crowds at Shwekyetyet Pagoda.  
 
26-May 26-May Shite-thaung Pagoda Festival Mrauk U
 

June/July
18-Jun 3-Jul Thihoshin Pagoda Festival Pakkoku
 
19-Jul 19-Jul Martyr's Day The whole country
  The day of the assasination of General Aung San and other ministers. Early morning (private) memorial services at the monument near Shwedagon Pagoda.  
 
23-Jul 24-Jul Shinbinsagyo Pagoda Ceremony Salay
 
24-Jul 24-Jul Waso Fullmoon Day The whole country
  Start of Buddhist Lenth. Donation ceremonies of new robes and other temporal requirements to the monks  all over the country at major pagodas, monasteries and even at homes.  
 
24-Jul 21-Oct Fish Feeding Ceremony Pwinphyu, near Magwe
 

August
/September
10-Aug 16-Aug Shwe Kyun Pin Festival Mingun
  Regional Nat festival. Can observe several kinds to ceramic wares from Singaing Kyaukmyaung are laid out at the bank of river for sale during the festival.  
 
19-Aug 23-Aug Taung Byone Festival Matara, near Mandalay
  Traditional Nat Festival. The most famous in Upper Myanmar. 01 hour drive from Mandalay. It lasts five days and every day has special programs. Festival where especially youngsters are merry and enjoy drinking and where people of all ages can join in the Nat dance. Ceremonies are mostly at night and it is very hard to get into the village  
 
31-Aug 6-Sep Yadanar Gu Festival Amarapura
  Traditional Nat festival on the Mandalay-Sagaing road. Approx. Half an hour drives from Mandalay. We can take a small sampan along the lake up to the Nat Shrine hall.  
 

October
7-Oct 24-Oct Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival Inlay
  The biggest occasion of the Lake Inle. The images of the Buddha from Phaung Daw Oo are placed on a decorated royal barge and taken around the lake, stopping at villages for people to pay homage. The festivals is full of pageantry and colorful, and there are fun fairs, music, dances and boat races. Since this festival lasts very long, please check with us for exact dates and events  
 
14-Oct 21-Oct Kyauktawgyi Pagoda Festival Mandalay
  It’s situated at the foot of Mandalay hill, within a short walking distance from Novotel Hotel. It is considered popular sales fair where all kinds of goods (some of them locally produced) are sold. . Next to that is the usual organization of events similar to other Pagoda Festivals.  
 
16-Oct 4-Nov Myathalon Festival Magwe
 
20-Oct 21-Oct Elephant Dance Festival Kyaukse
  Yearly cultural highlight of Kyaukse, 26 miles to the south of Mandalay. The whole town competes, not only for the best “elephant dance”-performance, but at the same time for the nicest-decorated “elephant”. For the dance itself: two men get inside at life-size hollowed-out papier-mâché elephant figure and imitate the movements of a real elephant. Usually, there is a ‘lead’-man who coordinates the movements of the dancers, assisted by a small number of musicians.

The festival is celebrated on the day before full moon day of Thadingyut . As the day progresses, it is getting more and more crowded because people nearby villages and as far away as Mandalay come to Kyaukse and join in the festivities.
 
 
20-Oct 22-Oct Tadingyut Festival The whole country
  End of Buddhist lent. And also the festival of lights. Pagodas, houses and streets are brilliantly illuminated. It is not only a time of joy but also thanksgiving and paying homage to teachers, parents and elders.  
 
21-Oct 21-Oct Tadingyut Fullmoon Day The whole country
 
22-Oct 22-Oct Lightfloating Festival Shwekyin
 

November

12-Nov 3-Dec Shwezigon Festival Bagan
 
14-Nov 19-Nov Thanbodde Pagoda Ceremony     Monywa
  Like other pagoda festival with the usual entertainment provided. Myanmar thanaka, sandalwood and woven textiles (cotton blankets and longgyis mainly) can be bought at the various stalls around the pagoda area.   
 
14-Nov 19-Nov Phowintaung Festival Monywa
  Like other pagoda festival with the usual entertainment provided. Myanmar thanaka, sandalwood and woven textiles (cotton blankets and longgyis mainly) can be bought at the various stalls around the pagoda area.  
 
16-Nov 19-Nov Fire Balloon Festival Taunggyi
  Tauggyi Fire balloons festival will be held from 16 November to 19 November and can watch the various competitions of hot- air  balloons. At day-time, see the competitions of decorated hot-air balloons in different shapes and forms of animals such as elephants, horse, cattle, pig mythical Hintha bird and hen etc. Also see the fireworks and firecrackers of hot air-balloon at night time.  
 
18-Nov 18-Nov Robe Weaving Contest Big Cities
  The robe weaving ceremony is held on the eve of the day before fullmoon day in one night. This is a competition for the weaving skills between teams of women  to complete special saffron-coloured robes, called “Ma Tho Thin Gan”  from the evening onwards at dawn. It is still done in the traditional way and lots of people enjoy watching the demonstrations. At dawn, the robes are offered to the great image of Lord Buddha and followed by the prize giving ceremony for the winners.  
 
18-Nov 19-Nov Shin Mar Le Pagoda Festival Mandalay
  Celebrated at the time of the Tazaung Dine Festival. People throe with lotus flowers to the top of the stupa, located at the North entrance of the Mahamuni Pagoda, as homage to the Lord Buddha.  
 
19-Nov 19-Nov Tazaungdaing Fullmoon Festival The whole country
  Many locals of different status offer yellow robes & other items such as slippers, umbrellas, alms bowls and other domestic articles to the monks. This offering ceremony is commonly called "Kathein" and every local hope – at least once in his/her life – to participate in this event. Especially Sagaing attracts quite some crowds, as it is known as the Buddishist place of retreat per excellence in the country with a concentration of monasteries, nunneries and pagodas in that area. Many people (even from Mandalay) go and spend the whole night (preceding full moon day) in Sagaing.  
 
19-Nov 27-Nov Kaunghmudaw Pagoda Festival Sagaing
  The most interesting aspect of this festival is the caravan of bullock-carts in the pagoda compound. Some of the carts carry their village products, such as hand-woven cotton cloths and cane mats, to sell them there. They like to camp under the shade of the trees.  
 
29-Nov 29-Nov National Day The whole country
 

December
12-Dec 19-Dec Shwemyetmhan Pagoda Festival Shwetaung
 
25-Dec 25-Dec Christmas Day The whole country
 
25-Dec 2-Jan Kachin Manaw Festival Myitkyinar
 

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Prepared by THAN TUN WIN, Embassy of the Union of Myanmar , Brussels