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Home >> Myanmar >> Myanmar Festivals

Myanmar Festivals

Myanmar is a country celebrating a lot of festivals, counting more than 110 days a year, which affords travelers opportunity to get firsthand insight of Myanmar culture. Generally, except several political holidays, most of these festivals are connected with Buddhism.


- Independence Day of Myanmar, falls on January 4th. Apart from many official celebrations and performances, most pagodas hold ceremonious religious rites on that day.


- Harvest Festival in February. It is a festival to celebrate the rice harvests as well as the good time to taste a traditional Burmese dessert named htamane - glutinous rice made with nutlets, sesame seeds, peanuts and ginger.


- Thingyan Water Festival, Burmese New Year, usually falls around mid-April and last for 3-4 days. It is the grandest festival in Myanmar, similar to Chinese Spring Festival and western Christmas. During the period, all over the country, all people regardless of age and sex use water guns, buckets, or any other water vessels to sprinkling waters to anyone seen on the street. People are happy to be wet since water symbols happiness to them. It is a refreshing experience for most tourists to join this cool celebration in the intense heat of summer.


- Bo tree Watering Festival, on the full moon day of Kason (the month of May, or the Burmese calendar February). The festival is to mark the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha. For this festival, tourists can not miss the grand ceremony held in Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, especially when devout Burmese females carry water pot on their head and then sprinkle the water on the bo tree.


- Robe Offering Festival, on the full moon day of Waso (July, Burmese April). This festival is celebrated to mark the beginning of the Buddhist lent during the rainy season. According to Buddhism, Buddhists are prohibited to marry or make a move in subsequent three months. People hold shinbyu ceremony to dress up their children and sent them to pagodas to cultivate Buddhism. Monks also stop visiting during this period.


- Regatta Festival. September is the month of Inle Lake. The whole lake region is full of performances; boats are decorated, boatmen gather here for rowing competitions. The spectacular occasion always draws people from all parts of the country. In addition, orchid flowers fair is simultaneously held in towns in the vicinity of Inle Lake.


- Festival of Lights, on the full moon day of Thadingyut (October, Burmese July). It is the second grandest festival in Myanmar, which marks the end of the Buddhist lent, and from the date, Buddhists can marry and move house. On the day, houses and parks are all lit with candles to welcome the Buddha’s descent from the heaven. During the festival, musical plays, movie shows and stage shows on streets, and a lot of stalls offering a variety of Myanmar food and souvenirs. Also, Buddhists visit pagodas, pay respect to monks and offer food. In addition, on the full moon day of November, it is the second festival of lights when young females make kasayas to offer to monks.


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