Myanmar Festivals

 

JANUARY

Kachin Manaw Festival

Place : Myitkyina and Putao in Kachine State
Time : During January of every year

It is a delightful festival of the hill people, Kachin and one of the most popular festivals in Myanmar. This festival has been held for more than three decades. Manaw festival is the celebration of the New Year, Victory in battles, reunion of the tribes etc. Everybody in town joins the spiritual dance lined up behind one another.

Ananda Pagoda Festival

Place : Ananda Pagoda, Bagan, Mandalay Division
Time : During January of every year, depending on Lunar Calendar


This is the biggest and most important pagoda festival in Central and Upper Myanmar. Villagers come in caravans of covered ox-carts and camp out for the duration of this exciting country fair.
 

Naga New Year Festival

Place : Either Lahe or Layshi, Kachin State
Time : Usually January 14 to 16

Naga Festival is the social and the New Year celebration of the Nagas. The Naga national race comprises many different tribes with their own languages and culture.

FEBRUARY

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival

Place : Maha Muni Pagoda, Mandalay
Time : During February / March, depends on Lunar Calendar

Maha Muni Pagoda Festival, devotees light bonfires and cook huge pans of sticky rice with ginger, coconut and sesame to offer to monks. In other parts of the country this sticky rice is cooked as a celebration of the harvest and distributed within communities.

Kyaik Khaut Pagoda Festival

Place : Thanlyin, near Yangon
Time : During February

The nearest pagoda festival from Yangon, just 30 minutes drive. The festival is teeming with music troops, traditional dance performances, puppet show held in temporary theatres, vendors of miscellaneous item and food stalls. Local pilgrims visit to pay homage and enjoy the festival.

Shwe Settaw Pagoda Festival

Place : Magway Division
Time : During February

Mann Shwe Settaw Pagoda Festival is one of the most significant Pagoda Festival in Upper Myanmar. People from the entire nation pay Pilgrimage to the Pagoda during the festival days.

Htamane Festival

Place : Throughout the country
Time : During February / March, depends on Lunar Calendar

To celebrate the harvest, communities and organizations cook giant pans of sticky rice with ginger, coconut, peanuts and lots of sesame. Then offered to the Buddha and is given away for free to all the visitors to the pagodas.

MARCH

Pindaya Shwe U-Min Pagoda Festival

Place : Pindaya, Southern Shan State
Time : During March

During the festival time, thousands of devotees come from villages around the area to the cave. A kind of pagoda mall is set up at the foot of the hill under big shady Banyan trees to sell local products.

Kakku Pagoda Festival

Place : Kakku ancient pagoda complex, near Taunggyi, Southern Shan State
Time : During March

This is not just a religious festival but also a social occasion. Thousands of the Pa-O, Shan and Danu national races arrive by foot or boat to celebrate this festival.

APRIL

Thingyan Water Festival

Place : Throughout the country
Time : 13th April to 17th April every year

It is believed that water festival washes away sins and welcomes the New Year. The water festival represents the most popular, raucous and colorful celebration of the year.

Thanakha Grinding Festival

Place : Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State
Time : Thingyan eve (April)

Thanakha Grinding Festival is the traditional event of the Rakhines race. On festival day, all go to nearby pagodas and wash the Buddha images with Thanakha as a new-year eve good deed.

MAY

Kason Watering Festival

Place : Throughout the country
Time : During May

This festival is water pouring ceremony at the Maha-Bodhi tree, the holy Banyan tree at the foot of which the Buddha attained Buddha hood or enlightenment.

JUNE

Pariyatti Sasana Examination

Place : Throughout the country
Time : During June

This is held to turn out talented and brilliant persons and members of the Sangha in flourishing period of Buddha Sasana, to support Pariyatti Sasana at highest level and to turn out brilliant persons who can recite Pitaka orally.

JULY

Waso Festival

Place : Throughout the country
Time : During July

Pilgrims throughout the country gather wild flowers to offer at pagodas, and offer new robes to monks.

AUGUST

Taung Pyone Spirit Festival

Place : Taung Pyone Village, near Mandalay
Time : August

Devotees from all over Myanmar, comes to this special festival and offer their donations and enjoy themselves with the blessings of the spirits, every year. They pray for prosperity, fame, and luck for the next coming year.

Yadana Gu Spirit Festival
 

Place : Amarapura, near Mandalay
Time : August

This festival honours the Goddess of Popa, the mother of Taung Pyone two spirits brothers. Worshippers believed that she is a powerful spirit and protector of women.

SEPTEMBER

Manuha Pagoda Festival

Place : Myinkaba village, Bagan
Time : During September / October, depends on Lunar Calendar

During the festival, rice cakes and pickled winter melon are served to all comers from near and far. The Myinkaba region dwellers donate these to all visitors. This tradition is also believed to have been descended from the time of the King Manuha.

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

Place : Inle Lake, Southern Shan State
Time : During September / October, can change according to the Lunar Calendar

The biggest event in the southern area of Shan takes place at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda that situated in Inle Lake. The large crowds of people gather on the lake-shores to celebrate the occasion.

OCTOBER

Thadingyut Lighting Festival

Place : Throughout the country
Time : During October, can change according to the Lunar Calendar

Thadingyut Festival celebrates the return of the Buddha to earth from the abode of gods, where He had been preaching an especially profound section of His Doctrine for an entire Lent. Buddhists lighted up His way with candles, oil-lamps and torches.

Kyaut Taw Gyi Pagoda Festival

Place : Mandalay
Time : During October, can change according to the Lunar Calendar

An exciting festival focused on a huge Buddha image carved from a block of marble. It coincides with an annual competition among teams of cane-ball (chinlon) players.

Dancing Elephants Festival

Place : Kyaukse, Mandalay Division
Time : During October, can change according to the Lunar Calendar

It is a marvelous performance of two men together to dance in rhythm. A huge elephant figure is made from bamboo and paper. Men take their places inside the figure and dance around the town to the accompaniment of Dobat and Drums.

NOVEMBER

Shwezigon Pagoda Festival

Place : Nyaung U, near Bagan
Time : During November, can change according to the Lunar Calendar

A great ceremony, there is a ritual of offering a filled alms bowl to a thousand and more monks and novices.

Kahtein Thingan Offering Festival

Place : Throughout the country
Time : During November, can change according to the Lunar Calendar

Kahtein Festival is held annually. The Kahtein robes and other offerings such as slippers, umbrellas, alms bowls, towels, soap and other necessities, cash offering in the shape of a tree (the padaytharpin) are presented to monks.

Matho Thingan (Yellow Robe) Weaving Festival

Place : Throughout the country
Time : During November, can change according to the Lunar Calendar

This festival of Tazaungmone is an auspicious time for offering of yellow robes to the monks. In commemoration of this event weaving competitions of yellow robes are held all over the country.

Hot Air Balloon Festival

Place : Taunggyi, Southern Shan State
Time : During November, can change according to the Lunar Calendar

On this occasion people enjoy fun and merriment by holding firework-launching competitions. The firework is in the form of rockets. There is also hot balloons competitions on the day and night occasions.

DECEMBER

Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock) Pagoda Festival

Place : Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda, Mon State
Time : Evening of 31st December

The Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda Festival is a special festival of lights celebration. Locals offer the lighting of 9000 candles and 9000 flowers to the Buddha. The platform and passage of the pagoda are usually filled with visitors from all over the country.