Festivals To Look Out For On Your Myanmar vacation

Author: Srikanth Krishna on Feb 11,2020

Myanmar, like any other Asian country, loves to celebrate. It is a very colorful country and the people here are very welcoming. Myanmar follows a lunar calendar and hence is filled with many festivals, all year around. You can witness these grand celebrations on your next Myanmar vacation. Myanmar offers peace to everyone who visits here. You can indulge yourself in the celebrations. Indulge yourself in the culture and tradition of Burmese people when you take part in these celebrations.

Here are the festivals in Myanmar you must experience when you are in Myanmar.

  1. Kachin Manaw Festival

  2. Ananda Pagoda Festival

  3. Thingyan Water Festival

  4. Shittaung Pagoda Festival

  5. Kason Festival

  6. Waso Chinlone Festival

  7. Taungbyone Nat Festival

  8. Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

  9. Thadingyut Festival of Lights

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Detailed Itinerary

Every festival has a major reason to celebrate it and a story attached to it. You can witness the following festivals on your next itinerary. 


Kachin Manaw Festival


Plan a visit to Myitkyina in the month of January and you can witness the Kachin Manaw festival. It is held in the Kachin state to celebrate a new year. Burmese women dress up in their traditional attires and perform the dances. Seven different tribes come together to participate in this festival. It speaks of their great victory in the battle and hence, local celebrates it with utmost traditional ways. They wear bright colors and dance around on the traditional songs. It is a festival of color and dance. People dance around the decorated Manaw poles.


Ananda Pagoda Festival


Head towards the Ananda Pagoda in Bagan to witness this festival. In this festival, thousands of priests in the month of January chants sacred writing for 3 days. People offer food and clothing to the monks and celebrate this gala with full enthusiasm and joy. All the locals of Bagan put camps around the temple and take part in this holistic celebration. The local artists play dramas and depict a story every year.


Thingyan Water Festival


The Thingyan water festival is celebrated all across the nation to cleanse people from their sins. In this festival, people throw water at each other but the elderly people and the monks are excluded from it. During the month of April people indulge themselves in a water fight for five days before the New year celebration. It is just like the Songkran festival in Thailand. The excitement level of Burmese is always at a high level during the water festival. You can spot them playing with water and carrying the same during the 4 to 5 days tenure. You may consider it a wastage of water but for the locals, it is a way to wash off their sins.


Shittaung Pagoda Festival


To participate in this festival you need to head towards the Mrauk U. Shittaung Pagoda festival is celebrated in the month of April. It is of great significance to the Rakhine people. You can learn about the various traditions of the Rakhine people. Experience the traditional dances and songs when you are here. The locals take part in the boat races and hold many competitions to keep their spirits high. You can watch them while they have fun or simply take part in them.


Kason Festival


Kason festival is celebrated nationwide with full joy and enthusiasm. It is usually celebrated in the month of May. The reason to celebrate this festival is to mark the birth of Buddha and usually takes place on the full moon day. It is believed that on the full moon the Buddha was born and attained enlightenment too. To pay homage to these days the locals of Myanmar water the Bodhi trees in pagodas to keep them fresh. People parade on the streets and wear their best and finest clothing.


Waso Chinlone Festival


During the month of July, people from Mandalay celebrate the Waso Chinlone festival. This is a very different festival from others. It is meant to celebrate the royal Handball game which has been played for 90 years. More than 1000 teams from across Myanmar come together to play this game and the competition takes place in the Mahamuni Pagoda. It is one of the unique festivals.


Taungbyone Nat Festival


Taungbyone Nat festival is celebrated in the month of August and is one of the most colorful festivals celebrated in Myanmar. In this festival, people celebrate the coven that believes in spirits leading life. Myanmar is a Buddhist country but every religion is celebrated to its full glory. It is a week full of celebration with many energetic performances. It celebrates the spirits by drinking, dancing and tasting the local delicacies. You can see the people dressed up in costumes and indulging themselves in a carnival. 


Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival


This festival is celebrated during the month of October at the Inle lake. You can join the golden boat rowing during this festival. It is a three-week-long festival which is dedicated to Lord Buddha. During this festival, the images of Lord Buddha are taken out from the Pagoda to shower the blessings to the people who row the boats around this festival. This boat travels to the nearby villages and completes the cycle overnight. There are many artists that showcase their talents like shan dances, martial arts and everything you will enjoy.

Thadingyut Festival of Lights

Thadingyut is a festival of light and is celebrated nationwide during the month of October or November. It is a three-day festival that usually occurs on a full moon night. Legends say that on this day Buddha travels between the world of mortals to paradise. It is one of the national festivals of Myanmar that you should not miss on your next vacation. The sky is filled with the lanterns as they are believed to be the offerings made to the Lord Buddha. During this festival, the streets and houses are lightened up with the candles and there are lots of firecrackers in the sky.

Myanmar is a colorful country that showcases their love for lights and celebrations during their festivals.


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