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Festivals In Myanmar

  

January

Arnanda Pagoda Festival

Arnanda Pagoda Festival, the most unique one in Bagan. The people from different villages came to the festivals by bullock cart or anyways and stay in the camp and accustomed to sell their diverse local fascinated products such handmade crafts, clothing and yummy food. One can see largely the traditional life of village dweller at the vendors with the active dramatic songs and cultural performances that are persuading all the visitors.

Naga Newyear Festival Khamti, Chin State (January )

The rarest ritual festival one in Myanmar with the extreme excitement of traditional dancing that beckons all the travelers. Different Naga Hill Tribes with their own traditional costumes and dialects gather annually to celebrate the New Year which falls on January 15.

February

Mahamuni Festival, Mandalay ( January/February )

In the Full moon day of Thabodwe, Mahamuni Pagoda festival is held crowdedly in Mandalay. During these festival thousands of people from all over the country make the pilgrimage to the Mahamuni Pagoda. In the day time, there are many stalls selling various kinds of Myanmar snacks displayed in continuous rows of long tables. 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.

March

Indawgyi Festival, Hopin, near Myitkina ( February/March )

Inndawgyi Shwe Myintzu Pagoda Festival annually held in Tabaung. 12th Month of Myanmar Calendar is a seasonal festival of Myanmar which is always bustling with life. As the pagoda is located on an island of the lake, one of the causeways made of sand surface appear to walk from the lakeshore to the pagoda created by spirits. During the festival days, Myanma Traditional Dramas are staged for the entertainment of the public. The festival is crowded with visitors who enjoy local made products and household goods.

Shwedagon Festival

Shwe Dagon Pagoda, the most well known pagoda in Myanmar and this Pagoda Festival is one of the most visited festivals for pilgrims all over the country. There is a competition to weave the holy robes using traditional looms to be offered to the Buddha Images at the four corners of the pagoda before dawn.

Pindaya Shwe Oo Min Pagoda Festival (Pindaya, 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.

Kekku Pagoda Festival, Taunggyi ( February/March )

The last month of the Myanmar lunar calendar, Kakku Pagoda festival takes place. This is not just a religious festival but also a social occasion. During the festival, the Pa-O people, dressed in their traditional black outfits, spend three days praying and 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.

April

Myanmar New Year Festival

The festival is held on the eve of Myanmar New Year to clean the evil deeds of the previous year with water. During the Thingyan Festival, Myanmar people perform a lot of meritorious deeds to usher in the New Year and people pour water over one another to the melodious tunes of singing and dancing at the decorated pavilions.

May

Kason Sacred Bo Tree Watering Ceremony (Nation Wide)

The full moon day of the lunar month of Kason, honors the day, on which, in different years, the Buddha was born, achieved Enlightenment and died. Processions are held in temples, Buddhists pour water on the sacred banyan tree and rituals re enacted at the Shwedagon and other pagodas throughout Myanmar.

June

Chinlone Festival ( June/July )

Chin Lone (Cane Ball) tournament held in the compound of Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay almost a month for every day and night. Cane ball players from all over the country come up to Mandalay and enjoy this festival. Several ways of playing Chin Lone with team or individual together with the local folk music are inspiriting the entire traveler's curiosity.

July

Waso Robe Offering (Nation Wide)

The Fullmoon Day of Waso also marks the beginning of the Buddhist Lent. According to the customs the Buddhist monks are forbidden to travel and are required to spend lent in their monasteries. The robes are offered to use during the period of retreat.

August

Taungbyone Nat Pwe (Spirit Festival)

This festival is known as the major gathering spot for spiritual mediums and the most impressive Nat Festival in Taungbyone about 30km away from Mandalay where there is a noisy, seven day festival to keep the nats (spirit) happy.

September

Phaung-Daw-U Pagoda Festival

At this splendid Festival, four of the five Buddha images (the fifth is left to take care of the monastery) are placed on a decorated royal barge by leg-rowing boats stopping at each village to let people pay homage. Thousands of people from around the Shan State attend this most holy of all Shan celebrations. Leg-rowed boat races are also held throughout the festival.

October

Thadingyut festival of light

The Buddhist Lent (Thadin) ends on the full moon day of Thadingyut, when the Buddha's return from Heaven is celebrated with the 'Festival of Lights', involving all manner of lights, lamps and Candles are lit in homes and pagodas throughout the country, and paper lanterns are launched into the sky. Dancing and various forms of entertainment take place and as with most festivals, people gather pagodas all over the land.

November

Balloon Festival, Taunggyi

The festival of Tazaungmone in Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State is the most crowded with the release colorful features of hot-air balloons that compete for beauty and flying ability in upper Myanmar. Evening, time event features, Candle-lit processions accompanied by traditional Shan and Pa-Oo dances and music, hot air balloons and rockets are launched.

Shwezigon Pagoda Festival, Bagan

Evening performances are held throughout the three weeks of this festival. Also at night candles and fireworks are offered to the pagoda. On the full moon day of Tazaungmon, about one week into the festival, offerings of food and domestic supplies are made to monks from nearby monasteries, who line up to accept the donations.

December

Karen New Year (Innsein-Yangon and Pa-an)

It is a national holiday and is celebrated by the Karen national race, featuring, group dance in their ethnic costume, sport activities like the traditional boxing matches are held in Innsein, a suburb in northwest Yangon where the Karen communities are concentrated. Pa-an, the capital of Karen state, held the grandest celebration.

Christmas Day

Christianity is the second largest religion in Myanmar after Buddhism. The day is also a public holiday.

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