Festivals in Myanmar
Most festivals are held on the full moon day
annually. It can be last 2 days to 3 weeks. Some
festivals are held with theatre and temporary
market, entertainers, magicians, puppeteers,
musicians, fortune-tellers, etc. Here are some
famous festivals in Myanmar.
Ananda Pagoda festival (Bagan): It is held in the
tenth month of Myanmar calendar and one of the most
popular pagoda festivals in Myanmar. It is worth for
visitors to see the customs of the villagers and to
visit the temporary Pagoda market. They sell various
kinds of local products.
Ma Naw festival: It is a reunion of all Kachin
tribes. The festival is held in Myitkyina on 10 Jan,
national day of Kachin State. Each group dress up in
their traditional costumes and show gratitude to
their ancestral spirits for brighter future. One can
see the Manaw Dance. The participants are invited
and served with meals and drinks which include beef,
pork, chicken, buffalo, wild boar, rice and rice
Naga New Year festival (Leshi, north-west of
Myanmar): Naga is one of official ethnic groups in
Myanmar. The Naga is celebrated in the second week
of Jan and lasts two days. The visitors can see the
difference Naga tribes traditional costumes, dances,
music, bonfires, stage show and sport competitions
during the festival. You will be surprise by seeing
Naga traditional costumes and dances. The Naga tribe
New Year festival will give you full of surprise.
Kyaik Khauk Pagoda festival (Thanlyn): The festival
takes place for one week, another side of Yangon
across the Bago river.
Chin State festival: It is held on Chin national
day, 20 Feb in different places in Chin State. Some
people hold their traditional ceremony including
playing sports, dancing, drinking and fire working.
One can visit this festival in central and southern
Chin state, Mindat region. It is one of the best
places to explore some of Chin sub-tribes such as
Munn, Makan and Dine tribes with tattoo faces.
Shwedagon Pagoda festival (Yangon): Is always held
in the last month of Myanmar calendar and the pagoda
platform is very crowd with the pilgrims. Local food
and products are sold in many stalls at the foot of
Pindaya golden Cave pagoda festival (Pindaya): It
starts 7 days before the full moon day of March and
the temporary pagoda market is set up near the Cave.
You will see the Shan tribes near by the region such
as Paos, Palaung, Taungyoh, Danu, in their
Kakku pagoda festival (southern Shan State): It is
also held on the full moon day of March and like the
other Pagodas festival, the Pagoda market is set up
and the villagers around celebrate the festival.
Thingyan festival or Myanmar New Year festival or
Water-throwing festival (nation-wide)
Thingyan festival is known as water festival and it
is held through out the country three or four days.
Everyone is happy on those days and that month.
Throwing water to each other is the symbolic of
cleaning the sins from the old year. Singing and
dancing on the decorated Thingyan pavilion, from
which the people throw water to the people passing
by, can be seen everywhere in towns and cities.
The following day after the festival is New Year
Day. It falls on every second week of April.
Thingyan festival is for both religious purpose and
pleasure. As a meritorious deed during the festival,
some go to the meditation centre or monasteries to
take Sabbath. Some youngsters shampoo to the old
people and pay homage to them. Moreover there is a
custom in Myanmar to buy some live fish and let them
loose in the rivers or lakes or in the sanctuaries.
The visitors can get such wonderful experience
during the festival. It is so exciting to celebrate.
Popa Nat or spirit festival: It is held on the full
moon day of April. Large numbers of worshippers who
believe in spirits pay respect to the spirit (Nat)
at their shrines on the top of the Mt. Popa. Nat or
Spirit festival can be seen often in Myanmar.
Although Buddhism had been introduced, many
Buddhists also believe in Nat (spirit).
80000 pagoda festival (Mrauk Oo): The festival is
held on full moon day of Kason, the 2nd month in
Myanmar calendar, usually falls in May. It lasts for
8 days. The visitors can watch the dummy boat races
as well as the traditional wrestling during
The Waso festival (nation-wide): It is held on the
full moon day of the 4th of Myanmar month,Waso and
it is the first day of Buddhist Lent. The monks are
not aloud to overnight the other monastery three
months after that day according to the disciplines
of monk. The essential things for the monk are
donated to the monks or monasteries. Such ceremonies
are celebrated in everywhere around Myanmar.
Taung Pyone Spirit festival (Mandalay): It is the
biggest Nat festival in Myanmar. Taung Pyone is the
name of the place where the festival is held. It is
one hour drive north of Mandalay. It is a must for
the worshippers to pay homage to the spirits. If
not, it is believed that the believers will
experience with bad luck. The festival is so crowed
with the people.
Elephant Dance festival (Kyaukse, Mandalay
division): The life size of elephants are made of
bamboo frames and paper. Two men get inside of the
hollow elephant and move like lively elephant and
dance with the traditional music. They compete for
the best performance and for the most beautiful
decorated elephant. The festival is crowed with the
local people from the region.
Shwe Zi Gon pagoda festival (Bagan): The most
venerate Pagoda in Bagan and festival is held
annually held in Oct and lasts 23 days.
Phaung Taw Oo pagoda festival (Inle): 19 days long
festival is held annually on Oct. During the
festival, the Buddha images are carried on the royal
barge from village to village where the images are
set for overnight. This religious occasion draws the
participants and celebrants to witness not only the
royal procession, but also the leg rowing Intha’s
Light festival (nation-wide): It is one of the
religious festivals and celebrated on full moon day
of 7th month of Myanmar calendar. During the
festival, people celebrate the night various kinds
of lights. Homes, Buildings and streets are
Hot air balloon festival (Taung Gyi, Shan State): It
is held on full moon day of 8th Myanmar month. The
festival is known as hot balloon festival because of
the balloon competition. The visitors can enjoy the
hot air balloon with fireworks and firecrackers,
competing over how beautiful their fireworks are and
the altitude they reach. The balloons are hand-made
of papers in different shapes of form, birds, fish,
hen, duck, etc.
Golden Rock festival: Golden Rock
Public Holidays in 2012
April 12 to 21
|: Independence Day
: Union Day
: Peasant’s Day
: Army force Day
: Myanmar New Year Days
: Worker’s Day
: Martyr’s Day
: Waso full moon Day, first day of Buddhist
: Thadinkyut full moon Day, the last day of
: full moon day of Tazaungmone
: Christmas Day
: Kayin New Year Day
The State Days
|Kayin State day
Kachin State day
Kayah State day
Shan State day
Chin State day
Rakhine State day
Mon State day
|: 3 Jan
: 10 Jan
: 15 Jan
: 3 Feb
: 20 Feb
: 22 Feb
: 19 March