Festivals and Events

          Myanmar is popularly known as the Land of Festivals because of countless religious and cultural festivals that take place all year round. Some are nation wide festivities while others are popular solely around Yangon or in district Areas. The  dates of most festivals and events in Myanmar are times to coincide with the fullmoon and often specific to one particular pagoda, temple, district or village. It is therefore not possible to provide exact dates for each festival well in advance . In order not to miss any opportunities., check with your travel agent or the Myanmar Embassy for updates closer to the event.

          There is always a festival for every month on Myanmar Calendar which consists of twelve months . However, the first month of the Myanmar calendar is in April or the month of Tagu. Thingyan or the Water Festival is held throughout the country for three to four days. It simultaneously makes the end of the old year and the beginning of the new year. Young people gather to sing and dance and to playfully throw water on each other. Throughout the Thingyan, decorative floats and water throwing pandals are seen everywhere in both towns and cities alike. If you are not afraid of getting wet, this high spirited festival is one that you won't want to miss.

          Thadingyut and Tazaungdine Festivals are prominent Festivals too. Thadigyut of Festival of Lights, signals the end of the Buddhist Lent and falls on the fullmoon day of the month of Thadingyut. To welcome Lord Budaha, upon his descent from Tavatimsa on Thadingyut , pagodas, monasteries, offices and houses are illuminated with candles, coloured paper lanterns, lamps, electric bulbs and neon lights for 3 days.

          Also known as the Weaving and Lighting Festival, the three days event of Tazaungdine Festival also features gala illuminations. Robe weaving competition is held on the fullmoon day of Tazaungmone and the prize winning robe is offered to the Four Images of Buddha at the Shwedagon Pagoda and at other pagodas else where in Myanmar. To mention a few of the Festivals besides the annual Festivities at the Pagodas throughout Myanmar are Kason Watering of the Sacred Bo Tree Festival, Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival, Hot Air Balloons & Fireworks Festival, Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda Festival and Taungpyone Spirit Festival.

 

Festivals and Events

January

        Htamane Festival

        Ananda Pagoda Festival ( Bagan)

        Shwesettaw Pagoda Festival ( Minbu, Magway)

        Mahamuni Pagoda Festival ( Mahamuni Pagoda, Mandalay)

        Kachin Manao Festival ( Myitkyina, Kachin State )

Ananda Pagoda Festival ( Bagan)

Kachin Manao Festival

February

        Maw-tin-Sun Pagoda Festival ( Pathein, Ayeyarwaddy Division)

        Indawgyi Pagoda Festival ( Kachin State )

        Pindaya Cave Pagoda Festival ( Shan State )

Pindaya Cave Pagoda Festival

March

        Shwedagon Pagoda Festival ( Yangon )

        Shwemawdaw Pagoda Festival ( Bago)

        Shinpyu Novitiation Ceremonies

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

 Shwemawdaw Pagoda Festival

April

        Thingyan Water Festival

        Myanmar New Year's Day

        Popa Nat or Spirit Festival ( Mount Popa )

Thingyan Water Festival

 Myanmar New year's Day

May

        Kason Fullmoon Festival or Watering of the Sacred Bo Tree Festival

        Taung-yo Torchlight Procession Festival ( Pindaya, Shan State )

Kason Fullmoon Festival

June

        Nayone Festival of Tipitaka

 July

        Waso Festival or Dhammasetkya Day

August

        Taungpyone Nats or Spirits Festival ( Taungpyone, Mandalay )

Taungpyone Nats or Spirits Festival

September / October

        Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda Festival ( Inle Lake , Shan State )

        Performing Arts Competition ( Yangon )

        Shwekyin Light Floating Festival ( Shwekyin)

Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda Festival

 Performing Arts Competition

 Shwekyin Light Floating Festival

October

        Thadingyut Festival or Festival of Light

        Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival  ( Kyaukse, Mandalay )

        Shwezigon Pagoda Festival ( Bagan)

Thadingyut Festival

Kyaukse Elephant  Festival

Shwezigon  Pagoda

November

        Tazaungdine Festival of Lights

        Kyaik- htiyo Pagoda ( Golden Rock ) Festival ( Kyaik Hto, Mon State )

        Hot Air Balloons & Fireworks Festival ( Taunggyi, Shan State )

        Kahtein ( Robe Offering Ceremony )

Tazaungdine Festival

 Air Balloons Festival

Robe Offering Ceremony

December

        9,000 Lighting of Candles ( Koe Htat Gyi Pagoda, Yangon )

        Kayin New Year Day

        Christmas Day

 

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