(Water) Festival (April)
This is the most amusing festival in Myanmar, it is
celebrated during the hot season in April to welcome the new
year. During three days people celebrate it by throwing
water to each other to clean away all the evil. There are a
lot of parties with loud music and offer you traditional
snacks. Water will be thrown to anybody in sight. Young
people enjoy it with friends and family and old people
retire to monasteries.
Elephant Dance Festival (October)
It is usually held in October as well as the light
festival, in the busy town of Kyauk-se. People dressed in
colorful clothes walk with the dancing elephants. More and
more in different celebrations the dancing elephants appear.
Phaungdaw U Pagoda Festival (October-November)
This beautiful festival takes place in a very big natural
lake located at 900 feet above sea level, Lake Inle. It is
celebrated the seventh month of the Myanmar lunar calendar
around October-November. The Buddha images are taken from
the Phaungdaw U Pagoda and are placed in beautifully
decorated barges and taken around the lake so everyone can
render homage to them. There is also music and dancing and
fantastic boat races.
Thadingyut Lighting Festival (October-November)
This is a three day festival that occurs before full
moon, during full moon and the day after full moon during
the seventh month of the lunar calendar. The anniversary of
Buddha’s return from the celestial abode and people decorate
the houses and streets with lights. Millions of colorful
paper lanterns are hung in trees, pagodas and houses. Senior
citizens also receive presents and respects from young
Hot Air Balloons Festival (November)
Balloon competitions are held during the day or the
night. The day competitions the balloons have the shapes of
pagodas or animals and the night ones have the shapes of
paper balls with multicolored paper lanterns hanging from
Pyatho December - January
Most pagoda festivals are held during this month because
it is cool and rain free. Lots of products from different
locations are put for sale in stalls, hand woven cotton,
baskets, boxes etc.
The harvest festival is held in February the eleventh
month of the Myanmar lunar calendar, a concoction of sticky
rice and different farm products like sesame seeds, peanuts
etc. called Htamane is made. It is celebrated in private
circles of friends and families and everyone must
participate because there is lots of hard work. There are
competitions of the best Htamane.
Tabung (Pagoda Festival)
Even if there are a lot of pagodas in Myanmar, people
make pagodas out of sand to pray and celebrate all over the
Bo Tree Watering Festival
Celebrated in the middle of May during full moon of Kason
by Buddhists, it is a very important festival. Processions
of men and women go to their pagodas to pour water on the
sacred Bo Tree to remember the Birth, Enlightenment and
Passing of Buddha. The processions have traditional music
Nayon Festival Of Tipitaka (June)
During this time, when the monsoon is at his peak, monks
and nuns have their scriptural examinations. Donations are
made for their comforts and amenities. Written examinations
and recitations are made for these candidates that have
dedicated their life to the study of Buddha’s teachings.
This keeps Buddha’s words and teachings alive.
It is the anniversary of Buddha’s first sermon which is
the beginning of the Buddhist 3 month lent. No marriage can
be held during these months and the monks have to stay
overnight in their monasteries. People use this time for
contemplation and meritorious deeds. It is a time for self
In this festival, in a large basket, people place the
name of each monk that has previously been written and
rolled in a piece of paper. A representative of each
household f each community takes out a paper and a feast is
given for that monk on the next day.
Tazaung Daing Festival
In this festival, Kahtein robes are offered to the monks.
It is one of the most meritorious deeds. On the full moon of
Tazaungmone, women will work on their looms ans weave all
night to make the robes to the Buddha images and the monks.
Small bands with traditional musical instruments encourage
and entertain the women at their work. The best weaver and
the best team of weaver have prizes.