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Myanmar Festivals

January

 (4-Jan)   Independence Day (The whole country)
Celebrations arranged by the Government at People's Park in Yangon and across the whole country. Ceremonies are very early at 04:20 AM and can usually not be attended by the public. Mostly early morning. All offices and markets are closed.

(8-Jan) Kaya State Day (Kaya State)

(10-Jan) Kachin Manaw Festival (State Day Festival) Kachin State
Kachin State Day is on 10 Jan. The festival will be held one day ahead of State Day. But they celebrate once in 4th year or 10th year. Please check with us whether celebrate or not.

(14-Jan to 16-Jan) Nar-ga New Year (Chin State)
The New Year is celebrated form January 14 to 16. An opening ceremony is held in the morning and in the evening; there is traditional dance with bonfires. On New Year day they have a competition of traditional sports, and gathering of sub tribes of Naga, once fierce warriors in their bright and exotic dresses, celebrate with rice wine roasted meat and tribal dances performed with loud beating of drums.

 (12-Jan to 26-Jan) Ananda Pagoda Festival (Bagan)
Ananda Pagoda festival will be held from 12 January 2013 to 26 January 2013. There are evening entertainments such as Zats: a variety of dance, song, short and long plays, Anyeints: a performance of a few hours in which number of jokers caricature current situations and or person strung together by a traditional dancer, popular movies shown in open air. It is also popular sales fair where all kinds of goods, some of them are locally produced are sold. The most interesting aspect of this festival is the caravan of bullock-carts in the pagoda compound, camp under the shady trees. It is very crowded around the fullmoon day.

February

(07-Feb)  Shan State Day (Shan State)

(24-Feb to 25-Feb)  Mahamuni Ceremony (Mandalay)
During the ceremony, a number of monks chant Buddhist scriptures non-stop till the full moon day. There are evening entertainment programs 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. And 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.

(12-Feb)  Union Day (The whole country)
Celebrations arranged by the government at People's Park in Yangon and across the whole country. Mostly early morning. All offices and markets are closed on that day.

(22-Jan to 29-Jan) Kyaik-Khauk Pagoda Festival (Syriam)
Kyaik-Khauk Pagoda Festival will be held starting from 29 January to 6 February. Most of the pagoda festival has evening entertainments such as Zats, Anyeints, some stage show and movies shown in the open air the whole night for every day. Villagers nearby come to the festival by ox-carts, which can be seen just before and on fullmoon day (17th Feb).

(12-Feb)  Union Day (The whole country)
Celebrations arranged by the government at People's Park in Yangon and across the whole country. Mostly early morning. All offices and markets are closed

(15-Feb to 26-Feb)  Shwesettaw Pagoda Festival
It is on the bank of Mann Chaung, Magway Division. Season starts 5th Waxing Moon Day of Tabodwe and ends the day after the fullmoon day of Tabodwe Myanmar New Year in April.

(18-Feb to 25-Feb)  Kyaik-Khauk Pagoda Festival (Syriam)
Kyaik-Khauk Pagoda Festival will be held starting from 18 February to 25 February. Most of the pagoda festival has evening entertainments such as Zats, Anyeints, some stage show and movies shown in the open air the whole night for every day. Villagers nearby come to the festival by ox-carts, which can be seen just before and on the fullmoon day (25 January).

(18-Feb to 25-Feb)  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.

March (30-Dec to 21-Jan)

(2-Mar)  Peasants' Day (The whole country)
Held in the honour of the country's largest productive workforce, the Peasants.

(19-Mar to 26-Mar)  Maw-din Sun Pagoda Festival (Ngapudaw, near Pathein)
This is the only seaside pagoda festival which attracts the people and it can be accessed from Yangon by a pleasant boat ride to Pathein, an interesting delta town famous for its parasols.

(14-Mar to 21-Mar)  Pakhan Ko Gyi Kyaw Festival (Shwe Gu Ni Village)
Regional Nat festival like Taung Byone and Yadanar Gu.
(between Pakokku Mingyan)

(26-Mar to 3-Apr)  Shwe Saryan Pagoda Festival (Shwe Saryan Village,)
45 minutes drive from Mandalay on the way to Pyin Oo Lwin (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.

(19-Mar to 26-Mar) Indawgyi Festival (Hopin, near Myitkyina)
It is about 100 miles far from Myitkyina. Approximately, it is a five-hour-drive to Indawgyi. This festival is held yearly for 8 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.

(19-Mar to 26-Mar) Zalun Pyidawpyan Image Festival (Zalun, Near Hinthada)
The colonialists who had occupied lower Myanmar took this Buddha image to England with the intention of using the bronze in their mint. According to the legend, they could neither melt it nor break it with hammers, and the Queen was said to have suffered nagging headache and nightmares. She ordered that the statue be returned to the place from where it was taken. After sending back it to Myanmar, the Queen recovered from the suffering. In memory of its having been taken abroad and having been brought back, it became famous as the Man Aung Myin Pyitawpyan Buddha Image (the statue which returned from abroad).

(21-Mar to 26-Mar) Bawgyo Festival (near Thibaw)
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 to sell their products there. Many kinds of gambling are allowed during the festival days only.

(26-Mar)  ) Nay Win Taung Pagoda Festival (Maymyo)
Same as Nyan Taw Pagoda Festival, it is a traditional Shan festival. It takes place in the northern part of Maymyo, about an hour's drive from the downtown area.

(25-Mar to27-Mar) Kakku Pagoda Festival (Kakku)
Alms offering is carried out by the native (Pa-O) people dressed in their traditional black out fits. There is the festival market also.

(22-Mar to 26-Mar) Pindaya Cave Festival (Pindaya)
It is held on 22 March to 26 March. On the full moon day (26th Mar) in Pindaya, offerings are made by the native tribes such as Danu, Pa-O, Taung Yoe and Palaungs. Festivities include performances with roaming artisans and the festival market.

(26-Mar) Tabaung Fullmoon Day (The whole country)
Ceremonies are held at pagodas all over the country.

(27-Mar) Armed Forces Day (The whole country)
The Armed Forces Day is celebrated on 27 March in commemoration of the start of Myanmar army's resistance to Japanese occupation in 1945. Originally, it was the Resistance Day but later, it has become Armed Forces Day.
 

April

(13-Apr to 16-Apr)  Water Festival (The whole country)
Myanmar people celebrate the famous water festival called "Thingyan". One cannot avoid of getting very wet because everyone 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.

(17-Apr) Myanmar New Year (The whole country)
This is the start of the new year and the end of the water festival. The whole country is very quiet and everything is closed.

(18-Apr to 30-Apr) Shwemawdaw Pagoda Festival (Bago)
Same with the other pagoda festival. There are evening entertainment such as Zats, Anyeints, stage show and also a popular sales fair where all kinds of goods, most of them are clothes, toys & kitchen supplies.
(not expensive one)
 

May

(1-May) May Day (The whole country)

(24-May)  Kason Fullmon Day (The whole country)
Pouring water to the sacred Bodhi tree. There is no other special entertainment, just only a small ceremony all over the country. Especially people are crowded at Shwekyetyet Pagoda.
 

June/July 

(23-June) Sand Stupa Festival (Yahai Quarter Mandalay)
At three different quarters in Mandalay, stupas are built with sand within one 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.

(22-June to 23-June)  Sand Stupa Festival (21st street, Pa Le Ngwe Yaung Quarter, Mandalay)

(23-June to 24-June) Sand Stupa Festival (Min Thar Su Quarter)

(22-June to 23-June) Shwe Kyet Yet Event Shwe Kyet Yet, Amarapura
This festival is crowded with people, 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 (i.e. Full-moon day of Kason).

(20-June to 23-June) Shitthaung Pagoda Festival (Mrauk U)
This pagoda festival is held on the full moon day like the other pagoda festivals but there is one unique thing, their traditional boxing show.  

(16-June to 30-June) Thihoshin Pagoda Festival (Pakokku)
This pagoda festival will be held on 16 June to 30 June. There are festival market and evening entertainments such as Zats, Anyeints and movies.

(19-July)  Martyr's Day (The whole country)
It is the day of the assassination of General Aung San and other ministers. In the early morning, (private) memorial service is held at the monument near Shwedagon Pagoda on that day.

(21-July to 22-July) Shinbinsagyo Pagoda Ceremony (Salay)
The Shinbinsagyo Pagoda festival is held around the full moon day of Waso (July).

(22-July to 19-Oct) Fish Feeding Ceremony –Kyaung Taw Yar Pagoda (Pwintphyu near Magwe)
It is a hilarious ceremony usually held at the bank of Mone Canal in Pwint-phyu of Minbu. A large number of gigantic catfishes so-called pilgrim fishes could be fed throughout Buddhist lent. And most of the local people believe that those fishes appear during that period, only.

(22-Jul) Waso Fullmoon Day (The whole country)
It is the beginning of Buddhist Lent. There are offering ceremonies of new robes and other temporal requirements to the monks all over the country at major pagodas, monasteries and even at homes.

August/September 

(14-Aug to 21-Aug) Taung Byone Festival (Matara, near Mandalay)
Traditional Nat Festival is the most famous in Upper Myanmar. It is only 1 hour drive from Mandalay. It lasts seven days and everyday has its special programs. During the festival, especially young people are merry and enjoy drinking and people of all ages join in the Nat dance. Ceremonies are mostly held at night and it is very hard to get into the village.

(29-Aug to 04-Sep) Yadanar GU Festival (Amarapura)
It is a traditional Nat festival on the Mandalay-Sagaing road, approximately thirty minutes drive from Mandalay. We can take a small sampan along the lake up to the Nat Shrine hall.

October

(05-Oct to 22-Oct)  Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival (Inle)
This festival is 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. The procession makes stops at the villages for people to pay homage. The festival 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.

 
  Date From Departure time  To Remark
1. 05.10.13 Paung Daw Oo
Monastery
4:00 AM
7:00 AM
Opening Ceremony
Khey Paw Khon
Night Stop
2.
3. 06.10.13 Khey Paw Khon
Indein
8:30 AM
2:30 PM
Indein
Heya Ywa Ma
Lunch
2 Nights
4.
5. 05.10.13 Paung Daw Oo
Monastery
4:00 AM
7:00 AM
Opening Ceremony
Khey Paw Khon
Night Stop
6.
7. 09.10.13 Nga Phe Chaung 7:00 AM Khay Sar Night Stop
8. 10.10.13 Khay Sar
Pwe Sar
7:00 AM
1:00 PM
Pwe Sar
Lin Kin
Lunch
Night Stop
9.
10. 11.10.13 Lin Kin 7:00 AM Nyaung Shwe 3 Nights
11. 12.10.13 Nyaung Shwe   Nyaung Shwe Night Stop
12. 13.10.13 Nyaung Shwe   Nyaung Shwe Night Stop
13. 14.10.13 Nyaung Shwe
Nam Thea
7:00 AM
1:00 PM
Nam Thea
Mine Thauk
Lunch
Night Stop
14.
15. 15.10.13 Mine Thauk 7:00 AM The Lai Oo Night Stop
16. 16.10.13 The Lai Oo
Kay Lar
7:00 AM
2:30 PM
Kay Lar
Za Yat Kyee
Lunch
Night Stop
17.
18. 17.10.13 Za Yat Kyee
Pha Ya Pawk
7:00 AM
2:30 PM
Pha Ya Pawk
Nampan
Lunch
Night Stop
19.
20. 18.10.13 Nampan
Ma Kyee Sape
7:00 AM
2:00 PM
Ma Kyee Sape
Khim Kham
Lunch
Night Stop
21.
22. 19.10.13 Khim Kham 7:00 AM Mine Phyoe Night Stop
23. 20.10.13 Mine Phyoe 7:00 AM Nyaung Taw Night Stop
24. 21.10.13 Nyaung Taw
In Phaw Khon
7:00 AM
2:30 PM
In Phaw Khon
Ye Tha
Lunch
Night Stop
25.
26. 22.10.13 Ye Tha 8:00 AM Phaung Daw Oo
Monastery
Night Stop


11.10.2013 at 07:00 procession from Lin Kin to Nyaung Shwe

11.10.2013 at 10:00 Arrival in Nyaung Shwe with boat races

19.10.2013 The longest distance procession from Kyine Kham to Mine Pyoe

22.10.2013 Last day with boat races near the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda


(14-Oct to 2-Nov) Myathalon Festival (Magwe)
The festival is celebrated, like other pagoda festivals in Myanmar. This pagoda is situated on the bank of Ayeyarwaddy River, in Magway. The festival is alive with the mass of people who are offering nutrients to Buddhist monks as well as 9000 oil lamps to the pagoda, and the view of those enormous lamps creates implausible beauty of the pagoda together with the pleasant night scenes of the Ayeyarwaddy.

(16-Oct to22-Oct) Kyauktawgyi Pagoda Festival (Mandalay)
It is situated at the foot of Mandalay hill, within a short walking distance from Mandalay Hill Resort 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.

(18-Oct to 19-Oct)  Elephant Dance Festival (Kyaukse)
This is the yearly cultural highlight of Kyaukse which is situated 26 miles to the south of Mandalay. The whole town competes, not only for the best "elephant dance"-performance, but also 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.

(18-Oct to20-Oct) Thadingyut Festival (The whole country)
The festival marks the end of Buddhist lent. It is also known as 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. This festival starts the day before full moon, the full moon day and the day after full moon day of Thadingyut.

(29-Oct) Light floating Festival (Swaying)
It is held on the full moon day of Thadingyut every year. The highlight of the festival occurs only after the darkness falls, and local people start lighting up hundreds of lanterns and launch onto the water.

(26-Oct to 27-Oct) Indein Pagoda Festival, Inle Lake
Buddhist ceremony is held at unique site of old shrine complex in Inle Lake.

November 

(16-Nov to 17-Nov)  Thanbodday 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.

(11-Nov to 19-Nov) Shwezigon Festival (Bagan)
Shwezigon Festival is held from 11 November to 19 November. There are evening entertainments such as Zats: (a variety of dances, songs, short and long plays), Anyeints (a performance of a few hours in which a number of "jokers" caricature current situations and or person strung together by a traditional dancer, popular movies shown in open air. On the full moon day (17th Nov), there is a communal offering of food and various domestic articles to the monks from the nearby monasteries (ca. 600) lined up as in usual offerings.

(11-Nov to 18-Nov)  Fire Balloon Festival (Taunggyi)
Taunggyi Fire balloons festival will be held from 11 November to 18 November and can watch the various competitions of hot- air balloons. At daytime, see the competitions of decorated hot-air balloons in different shapes and forms of animals such as elephants, horse, cattle, pig mythical Hintha bird etc. Also, see the fireworks and firecrackers of hot air-balloon at nighttime.

(16-Nov to 18-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 "Kahtein" 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 Buddhist 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.

(16-Nov to17-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.

(17-Nov)  Kyaiktiyo Pagoda Festival (Golden Rock)
The Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda Festival is a special festival of lights celebration. On the Full Moon Day of Thadingyut, locals offer the lighting of 9000 candles and 9000 flowers to the Buddha. On the next morning, rice, sweets and other snacks are offered. The platform and passage of the pagoda are usually filled with visitors from all over the country. Tourists also find the golden rock pagoda magnificent. Thadingyut usually falls in October, depending on the lunar calendar. At such a time, the weather is cold up on the mountain.

(17-Nov) Robe Weaving Contest Big Cities
The robe weaving ceremony is held on the day before the full moon day. There is a competition for the weaving skills between the teams to complete special saffron-colour 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.

(10-Nov to 17-Nov) Kaungmudaw 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.

(27-Nov) National Day (The whole country)
In Myanmar, National Day is held on a grand scale on the 10th Waning of Tazaungmone every year. It is the demonstration day of the Myanmar university students against the British colonial education and it was joined by the whole country, in the year of 1920.

December 

(10-Dec to 17-Dec) Popa Ceremony (Mt. Popa)
Nat dances on Mt. Popa. Very crowded and difficult to get up the mountain.

(10-Dec to 17-Dec) Shwemyetmhan (Golden Spectacle) Pagoda Festival Shwetaung
This pagoda festival is same as the others pagoda festival. But one interesting thing is that during the British time; Mrs. Hurtno, wife of the commissioner, was relieved from her eye disease after she offered a pair of glasses to the Buddha

(25-Dec) Christmas Day The whole country
 

 


 

 

 


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