Festivals

JANUARY

Manaw Festival
Where :Myitkyina, Kachin State
When : January 10 2014
Duration : 1 day
Traditional KachinManaw 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
When : 12 January 2014 to 16 January 2014
Duration : 2 days
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.
Anada Pagoda Festival
Where :Ananda Pagoda, Bagan
When : One week preceding the full moon day of Pyatho ( 9 January 2014 to 15 January 2014)
Duration : 1 week
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 bullockcarts can be seen.

February

Mahamuni Ceremonies
Where :Mahamuni precinct, Mandalay
When : 14th – 15th waxing days of Tabodwe ( 13 February 2014 to 14 February 2014 )
Duration : 2 days
Glutinous rice delicacy contests are held late on 14th Waxing day ( 8 Feb ). On the morning of 15th Waxing day ( – Feb ), increase is burnt in large flames in a symbolic gesture of offering heat to the great image.
Bonfire Ceremony
Where :Pyay
When :Full moon day of Tabodwe ( 14 February 2014 )
Duration : 1 day
White stems of nyan-yoe plants, which emit no smoke when lit, are burnt at four cardinal points on the platform of the pagoda in the early morning of 15th waxing day. Worshippers then proceed to Pho-U mountain-top resort, where Lord Buddha was said to have visited and made preordination of events.
KyaikKhauk Pagoda Festival
Where :Thanlyin ( formerly Syriam )
When :8th Waxing day of Tabodwe White stems of nyan-yoe plants, which emit no smoke when lit, are burnt at four cardinal points on the platform of the pagoda in the early morning of 15th waxing day. Worshippers then proceed to Pho-U mountain-top resort, where Lord Buddha was said to have visited and made preordination of events.
A Typical Buddhist Religious festival like a country fair

March

Maw-din Festival
Where : Pagoda Point, Pathein
When : 1st waxing day of Tabaung( 1 March 2014 to 15 March 2014)
Duration : 15 days
Pilgrimage and recreation go together at this seashore location. Long and secluded beach stretch between Pagoda Point and CabeNegrais is haven both for beach lovers and beachburms alike.
Kakku Pagoda Festival
Where :Kakku Pagoda precinct, Taunggyi Township
When : 9th waxing day of Tabaung( 9 March 2014 to 16 March 2014 )
Duration : 8 days
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
When : 10th waxing day of Tabaung( 10 March 2014 to 15 March 2014 )
Duration : 6 days
Traditionally a pagoda festival in honour of the Buddha statues inside the Pindaya Cave.
Nan-pan Ceremony
Where :Inle Lake, Shan State
When : 12th waxing day of Tabaung (12 March 2014 to 16 March 2014)
Duration : 5 days
The sight of numerous monks who come in boats and receive food offerings is striking.
Tabaung Festival
Where : Throughout the country
When : Full moon day of Tabaung (15 March 2014)
Duration : 1 days ceremony
Ceremonies at pagodas throughout the country
Shwedagon Pagoda Festival
Where : Yangon
When :Fullmoon day of Tabaung ( 9 March 2014 to 15 March 2014)
Duration : Approximately one week preceding the fullmoon day.
It is a draditional Buddhist pagoda festival and one of the most important pagoda festival in the country.

April

Thingyan Festival ( Water Festival )
Where : All over the country
When : 13 April 2013 to 16 April 2014
Duration : 4 days
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 Day
Where : All over the country
When : 17 April 2014
Duration : 1 day
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
Shwemawdaw Festival
Where :Bago
When : 8th waxing day Tagu(7 April 2014 to 19 April 2014)
Duration :13 days ceremony
Theatrical artists perform on stage with full force to show their competitive edge over their counterparts and to win future performance contracts.
Elders’ Day Ceremony
Where :Kabar Aye Hillock and elsewhere
When : 13th waxing day of Tagu ( 12 April 2014)
Duration : 1 day
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
When : 3rh waxing day of Kason( 1 May 2014 )
Duration : 1 day
During Thingyan, pilgrims from the country over pay respect to Popanat shrines.
Shwe-kyet-yet Event
Where : Mandalay
When : 14th waxing day of Kason During Thingyan, pilgrims from the country over pay respect to Popanat shrines.
Duration : 1 day
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.
KasonFullmoon Day
Where : All over the country
When :Fullmoon day of Kason ( 13 May 2014)
Duration : 1 day
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 )
Shite-thaung Festival
Where :Mrauk U, Rakhine State
When : Full moon day of Kason ( 13 May 2014 to 20 May 2014 )
Duration : 8th Waxing Day of the month of Nayon to 10thWaning Day of the month of Nayon ( 5 June 2014 to 22 June 2014 )
The Thiho Shin Buddha Image is one of the most revered in Upper Myanmar. A typical Myanmar Buddhist Festival.

June

PakokkuThiho Shin Pagoda Festival
Where :Pakokku, Magway Division
When :8th Waxing Day of the month of Nayon to 10th Waning Day of the month of Nayon ( 5 June 2014 to 22 June 2014 )
The Thiho Shin Buddha Image is one of the most revered in Upper Myanmar. A typical Myanmar Buddhist Festival.

JULY

Waso full moon festival
Where : All over the country in July
When : Full moon day of Waso ( 11 July 2014 )
Buddha is said to have attained Enligntenment 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.
ShweKyun Pin Nat Pwe
Where :Mingun, Mandalay
When :1st waxing day of Wagaung ( 27 July 2014 to 29 July 2014 )
Duration :3days
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.
1st day – attending a nat audience
2nd day – having a royal bath
3rd day – cutting down htein tree

AUGUST

Taungbyone Nat Festival
Where : At Taungbyone village near Mandalay
When : 10th waxing day of Wagaung( 5 August 2014 to 10 August 2014 )
Duration : 6 days
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! 6days ceremony ending Sep 1. Held for worshipping two Taungbyone spiritual figures. Major gathering spot for spiritual mediums. Spirit dances are rempant.
1st day – attending a nat audience
2nd day – having a royal bath
3rd day – ascending the throne
4th day – presenting roast rabbit
6th day – cutting down htein tree
YadanaGu Nat festival
Where :Ratanagu Pagoda, Amarapura Township, Mandalay
When : 10th waning day of Wagaung ( 20 August 2014 to 24 August 2014 )
Duration : 5 days
This is a festival to honour the mother of the two Nat brothers of Taungbyone. 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 Popa. Medaw, Mewanna who came back from Taunbyon Festival, on her way back to Mt. Popa, she halted at the Yadanagu as her transit-camp.
1st day – attending a nat audience
2nd day – having a royal bath
3rd day – ascending the throne
4th day – daughter of Mahagiri reels on the ground in grief
5th day – closing by cutting down htein tree

SEPTEMBER

PhaungDawOo Pagoda Festival
Where :Inle Lake, NyaungShwe Township, Southern Shan State
When : 1st waxing day of teThidingyut ( 24 September 2014 to 11 October 2014 )
Duration : 18 Days
Very coloruful festival when the 4 Buddhas Statues ( out of 5 ) from PhaungDawoo Pagoda are taken around the lake on a gilded Karaweik royal barge. Leg-rowing boat races are held throughout the event.

OCTOBER

Elephant Dance Festival ( Dummy Elephant Festival )
Where :Kyaukse, Mandalay Division
When : 14th waxing day of Thidingyut ( 7 October 2014 to 8 October 2014 )
Duration : 2 days
Papiermache 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
When : 14th waxing day of Thidingyut ( 7 October 2014 to 10 October 2014 )
Duration : 4 day festival
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 :Througout Myanmar
When : 14th waxing day of Tindingyut ( 7 October 2014 to 9 October 2014 )
Duration : 3 days
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
When : Full-moon day of Tindingyut ( 8 October 2014 )
Duration :Approx: 9 months long season 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.
Shwezingon Festival
Where :Bagan
When : 8th waxing day of Tazaungmon ( 30 October 2014 to 1 November 2014 )
Duration : 2-3 days
Candle lights and fireworks are carried in procession before offering to the pagoda

NOVEMBER

Hot Air Balloons Festival
Where :Taunggyi ( Shan State )
When : 10th waxing day of Tazaungmon ( 1 November 2014 to 6 November 2014 )
Duration : 6 days
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
When : 14th waxing day of Tazaungmon( 5 November 2014 )
Duration : 1 day
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
When : Full-moon day of Tazaungmon( 6 November 2014 )
Duration : 1 day
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
When :Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon ( 6 November 2014 )
Duration : 1 day
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
When :Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon( 6 November 2014 )
Having fine weather and clear sky, and having the first crip harvested, Myanmar celebrate the night with various kinds of illuminations.
Candle Light Event
Where :Ko-dad-gyi Pagoda in Yangon
When :Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon ( 6 November 2014 )
Duration : 1 day
On full-moon day, 9999 candles are ceremoniously lit. At midnight, visitors are served with mixed salad of maezali buds, believed to possess powerful, magical and medicinal properties if eaten at this time.
KaungHmuDaw pagoda Festival
Where :Sagaing
When : The Fullmoon day of Tazaungmon (6 November 2014 to 11 November 2014 )
Duration : 6 days
The best sopt 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
When : 8th waxing day of Nadaw (29 November 2014 to 6 December 2014 )
Duration : 8 days
This is the only image that puts on glasses offered by a cartain donor in colonial time.

DECEMBER

Christmas Day
Where : Throughout the country
When : 25th December
Christianity is the largest religion in Myanmar after Buddhism.