Events and festivals in Myanmar ( Burma )
Anada Pagoda Festival
Where: Ananda Pagoda, Bagan
Ananda Pagoda is probably the finest largest and best preserved of all the Bagan temples. Ananda Temple suffered considerable damage in the earthquakes in history. The Ananda. built by Kyansittha in 1090. is on a larger scale than the Pahtothamya and the Apeyadana and is significantly different in form. The temple is said to represent the endless wisdom of the Buddha.
One of the most popular festivals in the country. Bowls of alms filled with crips are offered to monks who all wait in a ling line. Pilgrimage and holiday outings on country bullock carts can be seen.
Where: Myitkyina, Kachin State
There are seven states and seven divisions in Myanmar. Among them. Kachin is one of the states. which has a delightful festival known as Manaw. Kachin. the hill people or the Scots of Myanmar. celebrate Manaw festival. It is one of the most popular festivals in Myanmar. The festival is usually held in January.
Traditional Kachin Manaw Festival to celebrate the New year. All the Kachin clans will congregate at Myitkyina to celebrate this event.
Naga New Year
Where: Layshi Township, Sagaing Division
Numerous Naga tribes spread throughout the Northwestern hills of Myanmar. Most of the Naga are from the Chin State. The Naga festival is social. but it is also to exchange previous year experiences. to make plans for the coming year and to discuss how to overcome difficulties.
One of the most colourful ceremonies of the country. Different tribes of Naga gather by the hundreds in their colourful costumes to perform ritual dances.
Where : Mahamuni precinct, Mandalay
Falls on the full moon day of Thabodwe. This festival usually lasts for 2 days. Glutinous rice (which is a delicacy) contests are also held on the pagoda's platform. A variety of incense sticks are burnt for the Myanmar Buddha image on the full moon day. During this festival thousands of people from all over the country make the pilgrimage to the Mahamuni Pagoda. The temple is always the center of activities and during this festival it explodes with energy.
Where : COUNTRYWIDE
Htamane festival is held between February and March. throughout the whole country. It is made of sticky rice and sesame seeds. One large pan requires 4 small baskets of sticky rice. 20 coconuts. one small basket each of peanut and sesame seeds. 4 kilo of oil. 0.32 kilo of ginger and some salt.
Making of Htamane is not very easy. First the sticky rice must be soaked over night. The next day. start frying the small pieces of coconuts and other ingredients. Then pour in the soaked sticky rice into the pan. Now. we need two strong men to do the stirring of the rice until it is cooked. After preparing Htamane. it is then offered to the Buddha and is given away for free to all the visitors to the pagodas
Where : THANINTHARYI DIVISION
Salon festival is usually held during the month of February. The festival is at Majungalet Village on Bocho Island near Lampi Island in Myeik. Thanintharyi Division. It is celebrated every year. to promote tourism in acquaintance with Salon and Myeik Archipelago as one of the tourism attractions for International Market. Here is where you will witness traditional and spiritual dances. diving competitions and a fascinating way of life. There are also rowing competitions. folk singing and a traditional Salon feast. The Salon people. or sea gypsies. live nomadic sea lives for seven months of the year. living off their ingenuity and the resources of the ocean. Encountering this chance be a rare opportunity.
Where : Pagoda Point, Pathein
Pilgrimage and recreation go together at this seashore location. Long and secluded beach stretch between Pagoda Point and Cabe Negrais is haven both for beach lovers and beachburms alike.
Kakku Pagoda Festival
Where : Kakku Pagoda precinct, Taunggyi Township
Annually in March. on the full moon day of Tabaung (March) which is the last month of the Myanmar lunar calendar. Kakku Pagoda festival takes place. Normally the festival will begin two or three days in advance for this is not just a religious festival but also a social occasion. It is the time for all to have fun. exchange news and gossips. to trade. For the younger set it is the time to meet their friends from other villages or the boys to fall in love with the girls.
Pa Oh people from all the surrounding villages come in their best costumes to pay homage to the pagoda. Some comes in bullock carts and make camps under the huge banyan trees.
Pindaya Pagoda Festival
Where : Pindaya Township, Southern Shan State
Pindaya Shwe Oo Min cave Pagoda festival is held on and around Full moon day of Tabaung as well. It starts seven days before the full moon day. 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.Traditionally a pagoda festival in honour of the Buddha statues inside the Pindaya Cave.
Shwedagon Pagoda Festival
The festival of the Shwedagon Pagoda is celebrated on the fullmoon day of Tabaung (March) every year. This is the eand mark of Myanmar. vistible from all directions. It situates on the hill of seinguttra and therefore it lore the original name of Seinguttra Ceti.It is a traditional Buddhist pagoda festival and one of the most important pagoda festival in the country
Where: Inle Lake, Shan State
The sight of numerous monks who come in boats and receive food offerings is striking.
Where : Throughout the country
Ceremonies at pagodas throughout the country.
Where : Bago
Theatrical artists perform on stage with full force to show their competitive edge over their counterparts and to win future performance contracts.
Thingyan Festival ( Water Festival)
Where : All over the country
Traditional Myanmar New Year Celebrations people pour water over each other in a symbolic gesture of cleansing oneself of sins from the old year. Youths go out for enjoyment while elders take retreat in monasteries and pagoda precincts to perform meritorious deeds. The most festive places are Mandalay & Yangon.
Myanmar New Year Festival
Where : All over the country
Myanmar New Year Festival is held after the consecutive Thingyan Water Festival. Thingyan Water Festival is enjoyed by both young and old generations throughout the country.Celebrated all over the country to commemorate the Myanmar New Year. This is a deeply religious occasion observed mostly at pagodas and monasteries. Buddhists young and old alike, spend the day performing meritorious deeds such as releasing animals, offering to monks, paying homage to elders, etc.
Elders' Day Ceremony
Where : Kabar Aye Hillock and elsewhere
An elderly man and an elderly woman from every township in Yangon city areas are invited to Kaba Aye Pagoda Hillock to be presented with various articles and are shampooed and nail-cut as a symbolic gesture of paying respect.
Where : Popa
During Thingyan, pilgrims from the country over pay respect to Popa nat shrines.
Where : Mandalay
Full-dress, large-scale procession followed by water-pouring on the sacred Bo-tree, significantly, on the 14th waxing day of Kason, a day before normal watering day.
Kason Fullmoon Day
Where : All over the country
Buddha is said to have attained Enlightement under the Bo Tree and Buddhist flock to pour water on this sacred tree to gain merit. Seen at most prominent pagoda and monastery precincts all over the country on the Fullmoon Day of Kason ( May )
Where : Mrauk U, Rakhine State
Dummy boat races on land, real boat races and water splashing in Mrauk-U canal on full-moon day. Traditional wrestling at the foot of the Pagoda: finals held on full-moon day.
Pakokku Thiho Shin Pagoda Festival
Where : Pakokku, Magway Division
The Thiho Shin Buddha Image is one of the most revered in Upper Myanmar. A typical Myanmar Buddhist Festival.
Pariyatti Sasana Examination
Where : Countrywide
The religious (Buddhist) examinations are usually held during the month of Na Yone (June). Since the time of the Myanmar Kings, the religious examinations for the novices and monks were held in the court yard annually including written test and viva voice. Nowadays the religious examinations were held for and wide all over the country.
Waso full moon festival
Where : All over the country in July
Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment and preached his First Sermon, the Dhammasekya, to the five disciples on the Fullmoon day of Waso (August). It is also the first day of the Buddhist Lent during which the monks are prohibited to travel and sleep outside the monks are prohibited to travel and sleep outside of their monasteries. Religious ceremonies are held at monasteries to offer holy robes to the monks.
Shwe Kyun Pin Nat Pwe
Where : Mingun, Mandalay
Myanmar's last barter market where natives trade by exchange of commodities. Marine vessels, big and small, gather to pay respect whilst plying around on the Ayeyarwaddy. Spirit dances included.
Taungbyone Nat Festival
Where : At Taungbyone village near Mandalay
Mount Popa is a vast volcanic mountain that overwhelms the flat landscape. It is only about one hour drive from Bagan.The most famous of the Nat ( super natural beings that reward believers ) festivals in Myanmar. This event is visited by all those who worship Nat, especially the traders and merchants who want help for more profits! Held for worshipping two Taungbyone spiritual figures. Major gathering spot for spiritual mediums. Spirit dances are rempant.
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival
Where : Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe Township, Southern Shan State
Very coloruful festival when the 4 Buddhas Statues ( out of 5 ) from Phaung Daw oo Pagoda are taken around the lake on a gilded Karaweik royal barge. Leg-rowing boat races are held throughout the event.
Elephant Dance Festival ( Dummy Elephant Festival )
Where : Kyaukse, Mandalay Division
Dancing Elephant Festival is also another famous festival in Myanmar.Papier mache elephants carried around the town towards the pagoda on the Kyaukse Hill. A dance competition features these elephants. Numerous life-size dummy elephants sing and dance to the accompaniment of music.
Where : Mandalay
The image was cast out of a single piece of alabaster in 1864 under the guidance of King Mindon.
The Thadingyut or Festival of Lights
Where : Throughout Myanmar
To mark the end of the Buddhist Lent, and is also one of the most prominent festivals of the year. Pagodas, houses, public buildings, parks, and monuments are all illuminated and there are various kinds of activities for everyone to enjoy. Thadingyut is not only for joyous but also thanksgiving and paying homage to Buddhist monks, teachers, parents and elders, and asking pardon for whatever misdeeds might have committed during the year.
Where : Kyaikhto, Mon State
The famous legendary Pagoda on the Golden Rock about 160 Km from Yangon and 11 km of hiking from the base camp at Kyaikhto.The boulder standing on the edge of a peak in the highest mountain range, is said to be freely hanging over the cliff. Famous as pilgrimage and holiday outing spot.
Where : Bagan
Candle lights and fireworks are carried in procession before offering to the pagoda
Hot Air Balloons Festival
Where : Taunggyi ( Shan State )
Traditionally it is to pay homage to the Sulamuni Pagoda in the abode of the Celestial Beings by sending up lighted Hotair Balloons. Now this traditional is combined with a competition to send up the most elaborate and beautiful balloons of every shape and size. Hot-air balloons are released day and night, competing over their beauty and the altitude they again. Day-time flying is meant for competition of animal figures and night-time is for beautiful fireworks.
Lights Festival and Robe-weaving Contest
Where : Shwedagon, Botataung, Kyaikkasan and elsewhere
On the 14th waxing day of Tazaungmon, groups of young women take part in competitions held on the platforms of the pagodas. The robe is to be vinished flawlessly overnight and offered at dawn to the imaes around the pagodas.
Kahtein Robe Offering Ceremony
Where : Taunggyi
Holy robes are offered to the monks at the monasteries. This offering of robes enable the monks to acquire new robes in place of the old ones that were soiled during the monsoon season. The best time to see is from 8 - 11 Am.
Parade of Lights
Where : Taunggyi
The people of Taunggyi and its environs march through the town with decorated floats and lighted candles to the Sulamuni Pagoda at the edge of the town.
Tazaung-Daing Festival of Lights
Where : Taunggyi & throughout the country
Tazaung-Daing in Myanmar Calendar is the month of November. It is among the 12 months when the rainy season ends and winter comes in. At that time. in Myanmar. the seasonal Khawei flowers are in full bloom. On the night of full moon day of Tazaungmone. 9.999 candles were lighted and offered to Koehtatkyi Pagoda in SanChaung Township. Yangon Division.Having fine weather and clear sky, and having the first crip harvested, Myanmar celebrate the night with various kinds of illuminations.
Kaung Hmu Daw pagoda Festival
Where : Sagaing
The best spot to watch Myanmar puppet as at Sutaungbyi pagoda festival in Monywa.
Pilgrimage and holiday outings on country oxcarts can be seen.
The Spectacled Image Festival
Where : Shwedaung, Pyay
This is the only image that puts on glasses offered by a cartain donor in colonial time.
Where : Throughout the country
Christianity is the largest religion in Myanmar after Buddhism.
Kayin New Year Festival
Where : Kayin State
Kayin New Year day is a National Public Holiday in Myanmar. Traditional Kayin costume was worn by most of the celebrants at the events. Many young and old Kayins wear their traditional colourful dresses and go around the city. visit relatives and enjoy the festival. In Hpa An. the capital city of Kayin State. dance competitions are held every year.