|Monday, 18 April 2011|
To say that the last New Year’s celebration in Myanmar was gigantic would be an understatement. In the Burmese language the yearly celebration is called “Thingyan” and it revolves around water and water related activities. It is a wet and wild affair, most everyone stays soaked throughout the course of the festivities; so dress appropriately! Aside from being a holiday that coincides with the end of the school year, the Myanmar New Year is also one of the most important holidays in Burma. In the first four days usually the youngsters venture out with buckets and water guns ready to splash everyone who is passing by.
And the best thing about it? Anyone can join in the yearly celebration which is slated for April 13th through the16th in 2012. If you’re planning on taking a trip to Yangon there’s no better time to visit than on Thingyan Eve. That way, you can tour the city, join in the festivities and purvey the surroundings. It’s common for travelers to join in the celebration, but be forewarned; the party will become ‘unhinged’ sometime during the 2nd day. The water used is meant to wash the sins and bad deeds from the previous year away. There’s only one thing you can do in situations like this, bring your own water gun along and join in.
Another interesting location to visit during this time is Ngwe Saung Beach, which will be also in full “water war” mode (but maybe a little less wild). But this particular area is also a nice place to stretch out and relax.
Once you’ve had your fill of the beach atmosphere it’s time to return to Yangon. By that time, the festivities should be slightly waning, compared to the frenzy of the previous days. The last day of the celebration is reserved for religious devotionals: the locals make their way to temples in order to atone. What area is popular to visit? Shwedagon Pagoda is a hot spot; many devout Buddhists come here. The New Year’s Day activities at Shwedagon are very enlightening and spiritual; perfect for a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. For additional information about the area, trips and booking opportunities check out our sample program.