If you ever get the chance to visit Myanmar during one of the many celebrations, it will certainly be a memorable experience. The festivals are mostly cultural or religious and held throughout Burma or in specific regions. Since Myanmar uses its own traditional, lunar calendar most of the festival dates are determined by the Lunar Year.
|09 January||Kachin New Year||Country Wide|
|10 January||Manaw Festival||Myitkyina/Bahmo, Kachin State|
|14 - 15 January||Naga New Year’s Festival||Sagaing Region|
|17 January - 01 February||Ananda Temple Festival||Bagan|
|16 - 23 February||Kyaik Khauk Pagoda Festival||Thanlyin(Syriam), near Yangon|
|21 - 23 February||Mahamuni Pagoda Festival||Mandalay|
|21- 23 February||Nyan Taw Pagoda Festival||Pyin Oo Lwin|
|23 March||Shwedagon Pagoda Festival||Yangon|
|23 March - 04 April||Shwe Saryan Pagoda Festival||Near Mandalay|
|13 - 16 April||Thingyan (Water Festival)||Country Wide|
|15 - 22 April||Shwemawdaw Pagoda Festival||Bago|
|17 - 23 April||Popa Ceremony||Mount Popa|
|20 - 21 May||Shitthaung Pagoda Festival||Mrauk U|
|13 - 20 June||Thi-Ho-Shin Pagoda Festival||Pakokku|
|06 June - 20 July||Chin-Lone Festival||Mahamuni, Mandalay|
|04 - 08 August||Shwe Kyun Pin Nat Festival||Mingun, near Myatheindan Pagoda|
|11 - 18 August||Taung Byone Nat Festival||Taung Byone Village, near Mandalay|
|26 August - 01 September||Yadana Gu Nat Pagoda Festival||Amarapura, Mandalay|
|19 September||Boe Boe Gyi Nat Festival||TaungthamanInn, Mandalay|
|23 - 24 September||Shwekyetyet Pagoda Festival||Amarapura, Mandalay|
|02 - 19 October||Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival||Inle Lake|
|09 - 16 October||Kyauktawgyi Pagoda Festival||Mandalay|
|10 October||Elephant Dancing Festival||Kyauk Se, Mandalay|
|14 - 16 October||Thadingyut (Festivals of Lights)||Country Wide|
|23 - 24 October||Indein Pagoda Festival||Inle Lake|
|07 - 14 November||Kaung-Hmu-Daw Pagoda Festival||Sagaing|
|14 November||Golden Rock Pagoda Festival||Golden Rock|
|08 - 15 November||Balloon Festival||Taunggyi|
|13 - 14 November||Than-Bod-De Pagoda Ceremony||Monywa|
|07 - 14 December||Shwe Myat Mhan Pagoda Festival||Shwe Taung, near Pyay|
|31 December||Nine Thousand Lamps Festival||Golden Rock|
MANAW FESTIVAL, MYITKYINA/BHAMO, KACHIN STATE
Manaw Festival is usually held on 10th January and one of the main events in the area. Almost all different clans of the Kachin race gather in Myityina to celebrate this special festival. Originally it is a tradition of animist belief, now the festival is a celebration of the New Year and a reunion of Kachin tribes. All participants wear their best traditional costumes and join a spiritual dance lined up behind each other around raised Manaw poles which are similar to totem poles of North American Indians.
ANANDA TEMPLE FESTIVAL, BAGAN (8th Waxing Day to 8th Waning of Pyatho)
The Ananda Temple festival is one of the biggest events in the Bagan Calendar. It features not only a large variety of dances, plays and songs, but also the enchanting play of Anyeints: a performance which illustrates an interesting mix of comedy with traditional puppetry. The festival grounds are popular for vendors and those who want to buy some goods. Four to five days before the full moon caravans of bullock carts from villages around Bagan come to the festival and camp around Ananda temple. One might think it is a country fair. Like other Myanmar festivals, the festivities on the full moon day are the event’s highlight. From around 6 to 9:30 in the morning more than one thousand monks come from surrounding villages to Ananda temple to accept the offering of filled alms bowls – a truly inspiring event.
SHWEDAGON PAGODA FESTIVAL, YANGON (Full Moon Day of Tabaung)
Celebrated on the full moon day of Tabaung in February and/or March is the Shwedagon Pagoda Festival. It is an enchanting event everyone is invited to provide water, light and flowers to the countless displays of Buddha which concludes with people praying and worshiping Buddha.
THINGYAN WATER FESTIVAL, THROUGHOUT MYANMAR
Burmese celebrate their New Year in April: If you ever get to be in Yangon for water festival, you will certainly have a fun and wet time joining the crowd to splash water at each other. Throughout Myanmar you will find festivities and people throwing water everywhere and it is 100% impossible to stay dry for a few days. During this time the older usually take time to retreat in monasteries and pagodas to perform meritorious deeds.If you are looking for one more thing to do in you
THADINGYUT (FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS), THROUGHOUT MYANMAR (13th Waxing to Full Moon Day of Thadingyut)
As a mark of the end of the Buddhist Lent houses, monuments and public buildings, parks and streets are illuminated and a variety of events take place during this time. Thadingyut is a pleasant time as Burmese are thankful, pay homage to Buddhist monks, teachers, parents and elders and ask for forgiveness for any misdeeds they might have committed.
BALLOON FESTIVAL, TAUNGGYI (9th Waxing Day to 1st Waning Day of Tazaungmone)
Probably one of the most famous festivals and a must-thing-to-do if you are in Burma at this time is the Balloon Festival in Taunggyi. Visitors will be rewarded by fireworks and a fantastic balloon contest. During the day you can observe locals to form their balloon in the shape of pagodas while at night you will see artistic lanterns that light up the sky.
TAZAUNGDAING LIGHT FESTIVAL, THROUGHOUT MYANMAR (13th Waxing to Full Moon Day of Tazaungmone)
Tazaungdaing Light Festival is celebrated throughout Myanmar before and on the full moon day of the lunar month Tazaungmone. During this period the streets are with lights and Buddhists dress in their full robes. As a tradition on full moon day 999 candles are lit at midnight and mixed salads consisting of Maezali buds are eaten as they are believed to contain magical and powerful properties when eaten at this specific time.