Festivals

1.

January

Salon ( Sea- pigmy) FestivalNaga FestivalHtamane’ (Nation-wide)Ananda Temple   (Bagan)Mahamuni   (Mandalay)Kachin Manau (Myitkyina)

2.

February

Mawtinzun pagoda  (Pathein)Shwemynitzu  (Indawgyi-Kachin)Pindaya  (Southern Shan State)

3.

March

Shwedagon Pagoda  (Yangon)Shwemawdaw  Pagoda (Bago)

4.

April

Water-festival  (Nation-wide)Happy new year  (Nation-wide)Nat festival  (Mt.Popa)Dryed Ration Offering & Religious Entitlement  (Kaba Aye)

5.

May

Water – pouring at Bo-tree  (Nation-wide)Fire-work  (Pindaya)

6.

June

Tipitaka Examination  (Nation-wide)

7.

July

Lent-robe and Dhammasacca  (Nation-wide)

8.

August

Taung-byone  Nat festival  (Taungbyone village, Mandalay)

9.

September

Paungdawoo  (Inlay)

10.

October

Arts and handicraft Exhibition
A floating oil-lamp  (Shwekyin)Lit festival  (Nation-wide)Elephant Dance  (Kyaukse)Shwe-zi-gon  (Bagan)Monywa Payagyi  (Monywa)

11.

November

Shwe-san-daw  (Pyay)Luminating  (Nation-wide)Kyaik-hti-yoe  (Kyaik-hto)Hot Air balloon contest and fire-work  (Taung-gyi)Weaving-contest  (Nation-wide)

12.

December

9000, Lighting  (Koe-htat-gyi)Kayin New yearChristmas

Monthly Festivals |

NAR-GA NEW YEAR’S FESTIVAL


Jan. 13 – 15


In Kham-Ti or the surrounding villages of Kham-Ti, Nar-ga festivals are held in January.

Gayals are slaughtered in sacrifice, followed by singing, dancing and the drinking of alcoholic beverages for the whole night at a huge bonfire.

ANANDA FESTIVAL


Jan. 17 – Feb. 08


The Ananda Festival in January is a 15-day-festival, the last two days being the most important ones. Alms bowls filled with crops are offered to monks who are all waiting in line. Pilgrims and holidaymakers in country bullock carts can be seen. In the area in front of the temple there are many foodstalls and merchants from the whole region around Bagan.

GOLDEN HILLTOP FESTIVAL

Kyaik Khauk Pagoda, Feb. 16 – 23


The atmosphere at the Festival of the Golden Hilltop of Kyaik Khauk Pagoda is similar to a fun fair. A multitude of stalls are offering local foods, ceramic and clay pots of all sizes, furniture and bamboo mats. Myanmar musical dance troupes entertain throughout the whole night hundreds of people.

MAHAMUNI PAGODA FESTIVAL


Mandalay, Feb. 22 – 23


falls on the full moon day of the Myanmar month 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.

SHWE OO MIN PAGODA FESTIVAL


Pindaya Cave, Mar. 19 – 24


During the festival at the Shwe Oo Min Pagoda Cave in Pindaya thousands of devotees throng the cave to pay homage to the pagoda. You will find hundreds of small stalls selling delicious local foods, Shan handicrafts, all kinds of cheroots (Myanmar cigars), Shan umbrellas, and, and, and… Tribes from all over Shan State join this festivity in their colourful costumes.

MAUNG DONG NAT FESTIVAL


Monywa, Mar. 29 – Apr. 01


This festival is known to be the most important gathering of witches imaginable. According to the legend, Ye Kin Kadaw, the Queen of the Witches, the favourite wife of King Taung U, had extraordinary powers. The king sent her into exile, as his other wifes did not like her supernatural power. She went to Maung Dong, where she got drowned. Her oldest statue, only 30 centimeters high, can thus be found in Maung Dong. During this festival all 37 kinds of nats will be placed in a shrine, devotees offering them bunches of bananas, green coconuts, betel leaves, colourful arrangements of flowers and ‘money bouquets’.

AH-LONE FESTIVAL


Apr. 03 – 08


On the Shwe Bo Road, twelve kilometers north of Monywa, the town of Ah-Lone celebrates its festival in March. The heroine of this festival is Ma Ngwe Daung (Ms. Silver Wings) who was a daughter of the Ah-Lone Bodaw, a minor indian prince who came through Tamu and Kaleitmyo to Myanmar. The celebration of this festival is related to the love story of Ma Ngwe Daung. During the festival the pilgrims appeal to Ma Ngwe Daung to give them the opportunity to have as many mistresses as hairs on their head. The festival appeals also to pilgrims wishing to control or to spirit away illness with the lustral waters on offer there.
THINGYAN WATER FESTIVAL


Throughout Myanmar


Apr. 13 – 16


The Burmese new year will be celebrated in April and everybody joins in the fun of dousing each other with water. Youths go out for the enjoyment, while elder people take retreat in monasteries and pagodas to perform meritorious deeds.

SHWE KYUN PIN NAT PWE MINGUN (NAT FESTIVAL IN MINGUN)


Mandalay, Aug. 05 – 07


during the Myanmar month of Tabaung. According to the legend, the youngest brother of King Mindon fomented a rebellion and succedded in ousting the Sawbawa of Hsipaw. Several of his six children got killed in this confrontation and Mindon’s brother did not rest until he eliminated all potential successors of Sabawa of Hsipaw. One day his two surviving children were struck by a teak trunk and drowned in the Shweli River at Thit Maik Myun while attending a boat race. Their mother died from heartbreak about this loss. The ‘Pagoda of Despair’ (Lwan Hpaya) was built at this place. Since then, the children were delared to be nats and thus became the keepers of the river. After harvest time, hundreds of farmers, wearing colourful dresses, arrive with their beautifully decorated bullock carts at the Myatheindan Pagoda. They build a big tent as temporary housing for the nat images. During these days the mediums perform Nat Dances in order to be granted a good harvest for the next season and to the delight of hundreds of spectators.

TAUNG BYONE NAT PWE MADAYAR (TAUNG BYONE NAT FESTIVAL)


This festival is known as the major gathering spot for spiritual mediums. According to the legend, Byat Wi and Byat Ta, two Indian brothers, got extraordinary powers after they ate the body of a dead alchemist. Byat Wi, the older brother, lost his supernatural power, after he walked under a clothesline on which women’s skirts used in childbed had been hung. He was captured and died after his loved ones offered him a quid of betel and a cup of water. Byat Ta was killed by King Anawrahta’s magical lance, after he was again late to bring the fresh flowers from Mt. Popa for the Royal Audience, and thereupon his wife Popa Medaw also died from broken heart.
15 years later, the two sons of Byat Ta and Popa Medaw, which were adopted by King Anawratha, forgot to bring one brick each to build the “Pagoda of Wishes”. King Anawratha soon found out, who was responsible for this omission and gave the order to gently hit them with a fillet stick. As they were in the trap which the king’s son, Kyansittha, planned from beginning on, they were instead hardly hit with a bamboo stick and died. Hundreds of mediums (Nat-Kadaw) and thousands of pilgrims come once a year to Taung Byone, where the statues of the two brothers are placed in a shrine and there stands still the “Pagoda of Wishes” with the two missing stones. It is the most impressive Nat Festival in Myanmar. Offerings and dances, the inflow of merchants, the constant arrival of pilgrims and the intensive uses of loudspeakers continue day and night.

YADANA GU NAT FESTIVAL


Amapura, Mandalay, Aug. 29 – Sep. 02


Known as mother of Taungbyone Festival. Most enjoyable because of the rowing boat trip to the site. The festival is held annually in honor of Mt. Popa. Medaw, Mewanna (Mother of the two Lords) who came back from Taunbyon Festival, halted on her way back to Mt. Popa at the Yadanagu as her transit camp.

BO BO GYI NAT FESTIVAL


Taungthaman Inn, Mandalay, Sep. 20 – Oct. 02


Bo Bo Gyi is believed to have high level alchemical and to have expired to become a Nat. On the eve of ceremony pilgrims throw tealeaf packets at one another from racing exacts. It is regarded as a pledge that one who is hit must take a visit next year with out fail.

PHAUNG DAW OO PAGODA FESTIVAL


Inle Lake, Oct. 03 – 20


Watch the procession of leg-rowed boats, which are ceremoniously tugging four Buddha statues situated on a royal barge clockwise around Inle Lake. Throughout the event leg-rowed boat races are being held and you will come across them during the excursion on the lake. Hundreds of other vessels travel in the entourage in a general festive atmosphere. Thousands of people from around the Shan State attend this most holy of all Shan celebrations.

MYA THA LUN PAGODA FESTIVAL


Magwe, Oct. 12 – Nov. 01


Buddhist chanting, early morning offering to 1,700 monks, and the lighting of 9,000 candles are major activities. The scenic beauty of the pagoda, situated on the riverbank, is dramatic.

THE THADINGYUT (FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS)


Throughout Myanmar, Oct. 15 – 17


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.

DUMMY ELEPHANT FESTIVAL


Kyauk Se, Mandalay, Oct. 16 – 17


This unique and exotic elephant dance held at Kyaukse, a small town not far from Mandalay. A huge but light elephant figure is made with bamboo and paper. Men take their places inside the figure and dance around the town to the accompaniment of Dobat and Drums. The elephant dancers circle three times at the foot of the hill to pay homage to the Shwethalyaung Pagoda. It is a dance that requires precise rhythm and timing in order for the elephant dancers to maintain uniformity inside the elephant figure. Numerous life-size paper dummy elephants sing and dance to the accompaniment of music.

INDEIN PAGODA FESTIVAL


Inle Lake, Oct. 22 – 25


Buddhist ceremony held at unique site of old sharine complex in Inle Lake.

SHWEZIGON FESTIVAL


Bagan, Nov. 08 – 30


Candlelights and fireworks are carried in procession before offering to the pagoda.

BALLOON FESTIVAL


Taunggyi, Nov. 10 – 15


The fireworks are in the form of rockets. There is always hot balloons competition day and night. Day balloons are usually in the form of Pagodas, and animals such as elephant, dragon or ducks while the night balloons usually in the shape of rugby ball, huge elongated paper balls with small lighted multicolored paper lanterns hung around their sides and balloons would sting along fireworks and fire sticks which are set off mid-air fireworks.

ROBE WEAVING CONTEST


Throughout Myanmar, Nov. 14


On this particular full moon eve groups of young women take part of competition held on the platforms of the pagodas. The robe is to be finished flawlessly overnight and offered at dawn to the Buddha images around the pagodas.

KYAIKHTIYO PAGODA FESTIVAL


Golden Rock, Nov. 14 – 15


The boulder, standing on the edge of a peak in the highest mountain range, is said to be freely hanging over the cliff. The place is famous as a pilgrimage and holiday outing spot. On this particular full moon day number total 9,999 candles are ceremoniously lit at mid night.

POEWINTAUNG CEREMONY


Poewintaung Ceremony Monywa, Nov. 14 – 16


The one and only market where leaves, fruits, roots, thorns, tubera, stems of any herbal value from the wilderness west of the Chindwin River are sold on a large scale.

TAZAUGDINE LIGHT FESTIVAL


Throughout Myanmar, Nov. 15


Another festival of light held on the full moon day throughout the country. Home and streets are illuminated and Buddhists are provided robe and various requisites at Kathein (Ceremony of offering robes to monks). On this particular full moon day number total 9,999 candles are ceremoniously lit at mid night. Visitors are served with mixed salad of maezali buds, believed to possess powerful, magical and medicinal properties if eaten at this time.

KAUNG MUDAW FESTIVAL


Sagaing, Nov. 15 – 20


The best spot to watch Myanmar puppets. Pilgrimage and holiday outings on country oxcarts can be seen.

SHAN NEW YEAR CELEBRATION


Kyaingtung, Nov. 24,

Many different Shan tribes are celebrate with offering to the Buddha and traditional dance and feast.

MT. POPA NAT SPIRIT FESTIVAL


Mt. Popa, Dec. 14 – 15


Mt. Popa being considered most important Nat worshipping center, thousands of country folks and town people in their joyous, light-hearted and merrymaking in this particular festival. Thousands of animals were sacrificed to the Nats during the festival however this practice has been stopped since Bagan period. Spirit possession and overall drunken ecstasy are part of the celebration.

Tagu (April).

 

Tagu is the first month of the Myanmar calendar. It falls in March and April on the Gregorian calendar. Myanmar new year festival is Thingyan Festival. It is held in the month of Tagu every year. That has been the tradition since Tagaung Period and it became prominent in Bagan Period.
Water is a symbol of coolness, clearness and cleansing of dirt and grime. The festival of Thingyan that is made most merry and enjoyable with pouring or throwing water on one another is taken as one that cleanses one and all of all dirt and grime of the old year and cools and clears the minds of the people for the new year.
Merry-making at Thingyan festival is intermingled with noble and pure activities of doing meritorious religious deeds in accord with the teachings of Buddha Dhamma.

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Kason (May).

 

Kason is the second Myanmar month and comes in April-May. It is a sacred month for Myanmar Buddhists.
The full-moon day of Kason was the day hermit Sumeda heard from Dipankara Buddha that he would one day be a Lord Buddha, the day embryo-Gautama Buddha was born, the day he saw Four Noble Truths; the day Maha Bodhi Tree grew for him and the day of his Pari-Nibbana.
So this day is commemorated by Myanmar Buddhists as Buddha Day. The main activity on this festival day is pouring water at the ‘bo’ (Bodhi Nyaung) tree.
From days of yore to this day, bo tree watering ceremo­nies are held at numerous pagodas in the country on this day.
It is one of the traditional cultural festivals of Myanmar people.

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Nayon (June).

 

Nayon is the third month on Myanmar calendar, in the hot season, and falls in May-June.
In the second Innwa Period, under the reign of King Thalun, in the year 1000 began the practice of holding exami­nations in religious scriptures in Nayon with aims at propaga­tion of Pariyatti Sasana.
It was followed by the holding of novitiation and ordination ceremonies in the next month of Waso.
Nowadays, Pahtamabyan examinations, Dhammacariya Examinations, Tipitaka Dhara Selection Examinations, Abhidhamma and Vissudhi Magga Examinations were held every year with presentation of prizes and certificates, for the flourishing of the Sasana.
Moreover, in this month of Nayon, what is called Maha Samaya Day was observed in commemoration of Lord Buddha’s preaching of Maha Samaya Sutta to celestial beings from ten thousand solar systems.

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Waso (July).

 

Waso is the fourth Myanmar month. It is part summer and part monsoon. It falls in June and July.
The full-moon day of Waso is significant as the day the embryo-Buddha was conceived, the day He preached the first sermon of Dhamma Cakka, the day He performed the miracles. The day also marks the beginning of the Buddhist Lent of three months when members of the Sangha go into the rains retreat.
It is a time of ordination and novitiation into the religi­ous order, with these events held since the days of ancient Myanmar monarchs for the flourishing of the Sasana.
There is also a practice of young men and women going on outings of gathering flowers to be offered at Buddha images.
A significant practice of Waso is the offering of monk’s robes to members of the Sangha for use during the Lent and so these robes are called Waso robes. Likewise there are also big candles called Waso candles offered at this time of the year.
Among lay people it is also a time to offer elders cakes, fruits and other offertories.

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Wagaung (August).

 

It is the fifth Myanmar month. It is in July-August, the rainy season, when rivers are in spate.
In the time of Buddha, when the Lord was staying at Weiuwun Monastery in Yazagyo, some disciples supplicated to him the matter of individual disciples having some difficulty to donate meals and alms for all the Sangha at the monastery at the same time, whereupon Buddha laid down a way of disciples drawing lots to determine which monk to offer meals and alms. Thus began the practice at this time of the year to hold lot-drawing offerings of meals and alms to the Sangha, although the exact time for such offerings is not definitely prescribed.
In ancient times, this month was also time for the festival of propitiation to the two nats of Taungbyone. This nat festival has been in vogue since Bagan times to the present day.
This is also the time for holding of boat races in olden days.

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Tawthalin (September).

 

Tawthalin is the sixth month on Myanmar calendar. (August-September). It is a hot month, hot enough to kill small prawns.
The surfaces of water are like mats, free of waves. So it has been a tradition to hold regatta festivals since the times of ancient Myanmar kings.
It was graced by the king himself aboard golden Pyigyimon Barge, adorned by figures of fifty kings on each side, as a symbol of a hundred kings owing allegiance to the monarch.
It was not just pageantry but an occasion for demon­strating the naval prowess of the Tatmadaw of ancient Myanmar kings.
The tradition was nearly dying out until the govern­ment revived it with traditional regatta festivals held on Kandawgyi Lake.

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Thadingyut (October).

 

Thadingyut is the seventh Myanmar month (in Septem­ber-October) towards the end of the rainy season.
Lord Gautama Buddha preached The Abhidhamma to Maidawmi Nat (reincarnate of His Mother) in Tavatimsa Abode of celestial beings for three Lenten months and returned to the abode of men on the full-moon day of Thadingyut. The King of Celestials cerated gold, silver, ruby stairways for him. Buddha took the middle ruby one radiating six hues of aura. The nats came along by the right gold stairways and the brahmas by the left silver stairways.
On account of that, Myanmar Buddhists celebrate the full-moon day with multi-coloured illuminations. It is also called Tavatimsa Festival after the Tavatimsa Abode of the nats and the Myinmo Lights Festival after the Mount Myinmo there.
For the Sangha it is the time for what is known as Pawayana, which means inviting, entreating, urging. In practice since the times of Buddha, it is to beg on another for forgiveness of any action that might have displeased any other among Sangha. There is also the practice among laity of paying obeisance to parents and elders.

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Tazaungmon (November).

 

It is the eighth Myanmar month (in October-November) time for Kathina, Matho Thingan offering, Pantthagu offering, lotus robe offering, lighting and Shin Malai festivals.
Kathina monk’s robes are offered at this particular time of the year. It is held mostly communally. Matho thingan meaning non-stale monk’s’s robes are ones made overnight and offered before dawn. Pantthagu offering means leaving offer­tories at any public place for anyone’s taking. Lotus robes mean those with golden lotus designs offered to Buddha or at pagodas. Tazaungmon is for another lighting festival, taken to be astrologically most opportune. Shin Malai festival originated in Shin Malai’s preaching of Wesandara Jataka on the full-moon day. It is marked by making floats in the shape of barges, putting on it a thousand fruits, a thousand flowers, a thousand lumps of rice and a thousand lights to go round before offering at pagodas. It is also called the barge festival or thousand-ful festival. It has been on the wane. There is also a practice of eating salads of mezali leaves with belief that it is medicinal particularly at this time of the year.

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Nadaw (December).

 

It is the ninth Myanmar month at the onset of the cool season, with misty mornings in November- December.In ancient days the seasonal festival was for propitiation to nats, till it waned.The 1300s saw the coming into vogue of a celebration in honour of the literati (Sarsodaw) at this time of the years.It might perhaps have some connection with the day dedicated to writer, poet and playwright U Ponnya after Konbaung Period.The first reconded celebration dedicated to the literati was found in 1944.In the present day, it is time for presentation of National Literary Awards by the State.

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JANUARY

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.

Manaw Festival

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.

FEBRUARY

Mahamuni Ceremonies

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.

HTAMENE FESTIVAL

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

SALON FESTIVAL

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.

 

MARCH

Maw-din Festival

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

Where: Yangon
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

Nan-pan Ceremony

Where: Inle Lake, Shan State
The sight of numerous monks who come in boats and receive food offerings is striking.

Tabaung Festival

Where : Throughout the country
Ceremonies at pagodas throughout the country.

APRIL

Shwemawdaw Festival

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.

MAY

Popa Ceremony

Where : Popa
During Thingyan, pilgrims from the country over pay respect to Popa nat shrines.

Shwe-kyet-yet Event

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 )

Shit-Thaung Festival

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.

JUNE

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.

JULY

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.

AUGUST

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.

OCTOBER

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.

Kyauk-Taw-Gyi Festival

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.

Kyaikhtiyo Season

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.

NOVEMBER

Shwezingon Festival

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.

DECEMBER

The Spectacled Image Festival

Where : Shwedaung, Pyay
This is the only image that puts on glasses offered by a cartain donor in colonial time.

Christmas Day

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.