Festivals In Myanmar

Festival

Date in Year 2016

Date in Year 2017

ANANDA PAGODA FESTIVAL Dates:Fullmoon Day of Pyato
Location: Bagan
Duration :15 Days

This is the biggest and most important pagoda festival in Central and Upper Myanmar: Villagers come in caravans of covered ox-carts and camp out for the duration of this exciting country fair: The Full Moon Day of the Myanmar month of Pyatho, which falls on January 03, 2009, marks the height of the celebrations, with one thousand monks from a hundred villages in the vicinity arriving to accept offerings of filled alms bowls. With their crops having recently been harvested, farmers have the time and the money to enjoy themselves. It is very crowded around the full moon day of Pyato.

08 -17 Jan 2016

15 Jan 2016
(the most highlight)

28 Dec 2016 – 06 Jan 2017

04 Jan 2016
(the most highlight)

NAGA NEW YEAR FESTIVAL

Dates: usually January 14 to 16
Location: either Lahe or Layshi, Chin State
Duration : 3 Days

The Naga national race comprises many different tribes with their own languages and culture. They meet once a year to sing, dance and feast, dressed in the fanciest of their costumes.
On 14th, an opening ceremony is held in the morning and in the evening there is traditional dance with bonfires. On New Year day they have a competition of traditional sports, and gathering of sub tribes of Narga, once fierce warriors in their bright and exotic dresses, celebrate with rice wine roasted meat and tribal dances performed with loud beating of drums.

 

14 – 16 Jan 2016

 

14 – 16 Jan 2017

KACHIN MANAW FESTIVAL

Location: Myitkyina, Kachin State
Duration : 2 Days

Kachin State day is on 15 Jan 2016. They festival will be held one day ahead of State day. But they celebrate once in 4th year or 10th year. Please check with us whether celebrate or not.

 

14 – 15 Jan 2016

 

14 – 15 Jan 2017

MAHA MUNI PAGODA FESTIVAL

Dates:14th Waxing Moon Day and 15th Full Moon Day of Tabodwe
Location:Mandalay, Mandalay Division
Duration:2 Days

February is the coldest month in Myanmar and at the Maha Muni Pagoda Festival, devotees light bonfires and cook huge pans of sticky rice with ginger, coconut and sesame to offer to monks. In other parts of the country this sticky rice is cooked as a celebration of the harvest and distributed within communities.

During this festival thousand of people from all over the country make the pilgrimage to the Mahamuni Pagoda. The temple is always the center of activities and during this festival it explodes with energy. Evening entertainment such as Zats (a variety of dance, song and short & long plays), Anyeints (a performance of a few hours in which a number of “jokers” (usually four) caricature current situations and /or persons strung together by a traditional dancer) and popular movies shown in open air. In the day time, there are many stalls selling various kinds of Myanmar snacks displayed in continuous rows of long tables.

 

13 – 14 Feb 2016

 

02 – 03 Feb 2017

NYAN TAW PAGODA FESTIVAL (Shwe Myin Tin Pagoda)

Dates:14th Waxing Moon Day and 15th Full Moon Day of Tabodwe
Location:Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin)
Duration:2 Days

Similar to most of the pagoda festivals with most of the ingredients as in the Mahamuni Pagoda Festival. It is a famous pagoda festival in Maymyo. In addition, you can observe several Shan and other ethnic groups who come from the hills to sell their products.

 

13 – 14 Feb 2016

 

02 – 03 Feb 2017

GOLDEN HILLTOP FESTIVAL, Kyaik Khauk Pagoda

Dates:10 Waxing Day of Tabodwe to Full Moon Day of Tabodwe
Location: Thanlyin, near Yangon
Duration:10 Days

The atmosphere at the Festival of the Golden Hilltop of Kyaik Khauk Pagoda is similar to a fun fair. A multitude of stalls are offering local foods, ceramic and clay pots of all sizes, furniture and bamboo mats. Most of the pagoda festival has evening entertainments such as Zats, Anyeints, some stage show and movies shown in the open air the whole night for every day. Villagers nearby come to the festival by ox-carts, which can be seen just before and on full moon day.

 

09– 14 Feb 2016

 

29 Jan – 03 Feb 2017

KO GYI KYAW SPIRIT FESTIVAL

Dates:8th Waxing Day of Tabaung to Full Moon Day of Tabaung
Location:Pakhan,Yayzagyo Township
Duration :8 Days

Ko Gyi Kyaw is a happy spirit who loves to drink and gamble and see his worshippers sing, dance and be merry. He is the patron of gamblers. This annual festival in his honour is celebrated in his home town.

 

8 – 15 Mar 2016

 

25,Feb – 04 Mar 2017

INDAWGYI FESTIVAL
Date:5th Waxing Moon Day of Tabaung to Full Moon Day of Tabaung
Location: Hopin, near Myitkina
Duration:10 Days

100 miles far from Myintkyina. Approx. Five hours drive up to Indawgyi. This festival is held yearly for ten days. One intriguing fact is that two sandbanks are washed up by the waves before the festival begins so that people can walk from the bank to the pagoda. People believe that one is for human use and the other is a passage for the gods. These two sandbanks disappear into the lake shortly after the festival.

 

5– 15 Mar 2016

 

22 Feb – 04 Mar 2017

BAW-GYO FESTIVAL

Dates:10th Waxing Moon Day of Tabaung to Full Moon Day of Tabaung
Location: near Hsipaw / Shan State
Duration:6Days

Once a year, only during the festival days, the locked up “four Buddha images” are brought out for display, worship and gilding with gold leaf. We can see tea-growing Palaung tribes from the hills and jewelers from Kyauk Me who try and sell their products there. Many kinds of gambling are allowed during the festival days only.

 

10- 15 Mar 2016

 

27-Feb – 04 Mar 2017

PINDAYA SHWE OO MIN PAGODA FESTIVAL

Dates: Full Moon Day of Tabaung
Location:Pindaya, Southern Shan State
Duration : 8Days

The Pindaya Caves are filled with thousands of Buddha images of antiquity, without any records of when they were enshrined and by whom. Every year pilgrims from throughout the country celebrate at this festival, which is also attended by the national races of the region.

 

10 – 17 Mar 2016

 

25 Feb – 04 Mar 2017

KAKKU PAGODA FESTIVAL

Dates:Begins 14th Waxing Moon Day of Tabaung
Location:Kakku ancient pagoda complex near Taunggyi, Southern Shan State
Duration :3Days

There are more than 2000 pagodas in the Kakku Pagoda complex, built several centuries ago. It is in a valley surrounded by beautiful scenery. Usually deserted at other times, tens of thousands of members of the Pa-O, Shan and Danu national races arrive by foot or boat to celebrate this festival.
On the full moon day (15 Mar 2016 & ) Alms offering is carried out by the native (Pa-O) people dressed in their traditional black out fits. There is the festival market also.

 

14 – 16 Mar 2016

 

03 – 05 Mar 2017

MAUNG DONG NAT FESTIVAL, Monywa

Dates:5th Waning Day of Tabaung to Dark Moon Day of Tabaung
Location: Monywa, Sagaing Division

This festival is known to be the most important gathering of witches imaginable. According to the legend, Ye Kin Kadaw, the Queen of the Witches, the favourite wife of King Taung U, had extraordinary powers. The king sent her into exile, as his other wifes did not like her supernatural power. She went to Maung Dong, where she got drowned. Her oldest statue, only 30 centimeters high, can thus be found in Maung Dong. During this festival all 37 kinds of nats will be placed in a shrine, devotees offering them bunches of bananas, green coconuts, betel leaves, colourful arrangements of flowers and ‘money bouquets’.

 

20 – 30 Mar 2016

 

09 – 19 Mar 2017

WATER FESTIVAL AND MYANMAR NEW YEAR

Dates:Usually 13 April to 17 April (Myanmar New Year’s Day)
Location: Throughout the Country
Duration :4 Days (or) 5 Days

Four Days of throwing water and the last, New Year’s Day, devoted to doing good deeds in all towns and villages, people carry water guns or buckets to douse anyone seen on the street while the more sedate attend meditation sessions or keep the Buddhist precepts. Communities prepare sweets to give out to passer-bys and at night, the people are entertained with songs and dancing by both professionals and amateur performers.

 

13 – 17 Apr 2016

 

13– 17 Apr 2017

SHWE MAW DAW PAGODA FESTIVAL

Dates:Begins Day after New Year’s Day
Location:Bago, Bago Division
Duration :7 Days

Classical theatre troupes perform their best here so they will be booked by agents for the next pagoda festival season. With the advance money they make new costumers and settings and rehearse throughout the monsoon Buddhist Lent period.

18 – 24 Apr 2016

18 – 24 Apr 2017

POPA CEREMONY, Mt. Popa

Dates: Dark Moon Day of Dagu
Location: Mt. Popa

Nat dances on Mt. Popa. Very crowded and difficult to get up the mountain.

 

28 Apr 2016

 

17 Apr 2016

SHITE-THAUNG PAGODA FESTIVAL

Dates:12th Waxing Day of Kasone to Full Moon Day of Kasone
May 05 - 08, 2009
Location: Mrauk U, Rakhine State
Duration:3 Days

This pagoda festival will be held on 3rd (Full moon day) as same as the others pagoda festival but they have one exiting thing is they have traditional boxing show.

 

8 – 13 May 2016

13 May 2016
(the most highlight)

 

29 Apr – 02 May 2017

02 May 2016
(the most highlight)

 

RITUAL OF POURING WATER ON THE BODHI TREE

Dates: Full Moon Day of Kason
Location:Pagoda Throughout the country
Duration :1Day

This ritual commemorates the date 2500 years ago when the Buddha gained enlightenment while meditating under a Bodhi tree. Pilgrims pour water on the Budhi trees in pagoda compounds to keep them fresh in the summer heat of May.

 

13 May 2016

 

02 May 2017

PAKOKKU THIHO SHIN PAGODA FESTIVAL

Dates:10th Waxing Moon Day of Nayon to Full Moon Day of Nayon
Location:Pakokku, Central Myanmar
Duration :15 Days

Pakokku is an old traditional town on the western bank of the Ayeyarwady River. This pagoda festival is the most important for all towns west of the Ayeyarwady and produce from the region, such as dried chili, homespun baskets and tobacco are sold every year at this huge country fair. The best thanakha trees, the bark of which is ground to make the purely organic make-up cream worn by many Myanmar women, grow in this area.

 

7– 12 May 2016

 

27 May – 01 Jun 2017

CHIN LONE FESTIVAL (Cane Ball)

Location: Mahamuni Pagoda, Mandalay

Chin Lone (Cane Ball) tournament held in Mandalay. It is used to held in Mahamuni Pagoda compound almost a month for every day and night. Cane ball players from all over the country come up to Mandalay to enjoy this festival. We can enjoy to see several ways of playing Chin Lone and racing by either team or individual together with local / folk music played while entertaining the audience.

27 Jun – 07 Jul 2016

27 Jun – 07 Jul 2016

WASO FESTIVAL

Dates:Centered around the Full Moon of Waso
Location:Bagan

This festival commemorates the time when the Buddha gave his first Sermon, to five monks. Pilgrims throughout the country gather wild flowers to offer at Pagodas, and offer new robes to monks. The Buddha Lent period is from the Full Moon day of Waso until the Full Moon day of Thadingyut.

 

11 July 2016

 

31 July 2017

SHWE KYUN PIN NAT FESTIVAL

Location: Mingun, Mandalay
Duration:4 Days

During the Myanmar month of Tabaung. According to the legend, the youngest brother of King Mindon fomented a rebellion and succeeded in ousting the Sawbawa of Hsipaw. Several of his six children got killed in this confrontation and Mindon’s brother did not rest until he eliminated all potential successors of Sabawa of Hsipaw. One day his two surviving children were struck by a teak trunk and drowned in the Shweli River at Thit Maik Myun while attending a boat race. Their mother died from heartbreak about this loss. The ‘Pagoda of Despair’ (Lwan Hpaya) was built at this place. Since then, the children were declared to be nats and thus became the keepers of the river. After harvest time, hundreds of farmers, wearing colourful dresses, arrive with their beautifully decorated bullock carts at the Myatheindan Pagoda. They build a big tent as temporary housing for the nat images. During these days the mediums perform Nat Dances in order to be granted a good harvest for the next season and to the delight of hundreds of spectators.

Can observe several kinds to ceramic wares from Sagaing and Kyaukmyaung are laid out at the bank of river for sale during the festival.

 

28 – 31 July 2016

 

17 – 20 Aug 2017

TAUNG PYONE SPIRIT FESTIVAL

Dates: 02nd Waxing Moon Day of Wagaung to Full Moon Day of Wagaung
Best Day: 13th & 14th Waxing Moon Day of Wagaung
Location: Taung Pyone Village, near Mandalay
Duration: 12 Days

Taung Pyone is the site where two brothers serving a King of Bagan in the 11th Century were executed. They became powerful spirits or Nat. This festival in their honour is attended by tens of thousands of mediums and worshippers. A ritual is celebrated each day. Toddy Palm wine, whisky, rum grilled rabbit and fried chicken are offered to the two spirit brothers. Orchestras come to play for the mediums who dance to make the spirits “joyful”.

 

8 – 9 Aug 2016

 

28 – 29 Aug 2017


YADANA GU SPIRIT FESTIVAL

Dates: 02nd Waning Moon Day of Wagaung to Dark Moon Day of Wagaung
Best Day: 10th Waning Moon Day of Wagaung
Location: Amarapura, near Mandalay
Duration: 5 Days

This festival honours the mother of the two spirit brothers referred to above. She is the Goddess of Popa and her main shrine is on Popa Crest, near Bagan. She too is a powerful and protector of women.

 

20 Aug 2016

 

09 Sep 2017

BO BO GYI NAT FESTIVAL, Taungthaman Inn, Mandalay

Dates:08th Waxing Day of Tawtalin to 05th Waning Day of Tawtalin

Bo Bo Gyi is believed to have high level alchemical and to have expired to become a Nat. On the eve of ceremony pilgrims throw tealeaf packets at one another from racing exacts. It is regarded as a pledge that one who is hit must take a visit next year with out fail.

 

1 – 13 Aug 2016

 

21 Sep – 03 Oct 2017

MANUHA PAGODA FESTIVAL

Dates: One day before the Full Moon Day of Tawthalin and the Full Moon Day
Location: Myinkaba Village, Bagan
Duration: 2 Days

On the first day, pretty village girls dressed in their best parade with trays of fruit and cakes to offer at the pagoda. During the afternoon, young men parade larger-than-life papiér maché figures they have made of heroes, celestials and animals. At night, they put on dances and plays. The next morning at dawn they offer food at the shrine and also to the monks.

 

7 – 8 Sep 2016

 

27 – 28 Sep 2017

PHAUNG DAW OO PAGODA FESTIVAL

Dates:1st Waxing Moon Day of Thadingyut to 03rd Waning Day of Thadingyut
Location: Inle Lake, southern Shan State
Duration: 18 Days

Four of the five images of the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda are carried by a golden barge to villages around Inle Lake where they spend the night. Their arrival is greeted with ceremonies and there is much rejoicing while the images are at the villages. The fifth image has not left the pagoda since an incident in the 1970s when it was on a barge that capsized during a sudden storm. The image fell into the lake and was not recovered but it was miraculously found back at the shrine when the procession returned. Thousands of people from communities around the lake and villages in the surrounding mountains carry fruit and flowers on lacquer trays in their own boats and pay homage as the holy barge passes. Teams of the lake’s famous leg-rowers compete in annual boat races.

 

24 Sep – 11 Oct 2016

30 Sep 2016
&
11 Oct 2016

(the most highlight & Boat Race)

 

14 – 31 Oct 2017

20 Oct 2016
&
11 Oct 2016

(the most highlight & Boat Race)

INDEIN PAGODA FESTIVAL

Dates: 1st Waxing Moon Day of Thadingyut
Location: Inle Lake
Duration: 4 Days

Buddhist ceremony held at unique site of old shrine complex in Inle Lake.

 

24 – 27 Sep 2016

 

14 – 17 Oct 2017

SHWEZIGON PAGODA FESTIVAL

Dates: 1st Waxing Moon Day of Thadingyut to Full Moon Day of Thadingyut
Location: Nyaung U, near Bagan
Duration:15 Days

On the Full Moon Day, October 03, there is a ritual of offering a filled alms bowl to a thousand and more monks and novices. Lacquer ware, glazed pots and hand woven cotton blankets are sold by villagers living in the region at this great country fair.

 

24 Sep – 08 Oct 2016

 

14 – 28 Oct 2017

FESTIVAL OF LIGHT

Dates:One day before the Full Moon Day of Thadingyut, the Full Moon Day and one day after
Location: Throughout the country
Duration: 3Days

This festival commemorates the time when the Buddha returned to earth after preaching in the abode of celestials during the three months of Buddhist Lent. He descended at night and devotees greeted Him with lamps and lanterns. People decorate their houses with candles and coloured lanterns to smybolise this event. The Festival of Light marks the end of Lent.

 

07 - 09 Oct 2016

 

27 – 28 Oct 2017

KYAUK TAW GYI PAGODA FESTIVAL

Dates: Begins one day before the Full Moon Day of Thadingyut
Location: Mandalay
Duration: 4 Days

An exciting festival focused on a huge Buddha image carved from a block of marble. It coincides with an annual competition among teams of cane-ball (chinlon) players. This sport of keeping a rattan ball off the ground without using the hands is not about one side winning and the other losing and is surely the only sport in the world with such a concept.

 

07– 11 Oct 2016

 

27– 30 Oct 2017

DANCING ELEPHANTS FESTIVAL

Dates: One day before the Full Moon Day of Thadingyut and the Full Moon Day
Location: Kyaukse, about 40km southeast of Mandalay
Duration: 2 Days

On the first day, colourfully decorated cloth elephants with two men inside compete in dance competitions. The ‘elephant’ with the best dance performance and behavior wins the gold. Food and flowers are offered to the pagoda on the second day.

 

07 – 08 Oct 2016

 

27 – 28 Oct 2017

KAHTEIN RITUAL OFFERINGS

Dates: all through since the end of Lent on the Full Moon Day of Thadingyut
Location: Throughout the country
Duration: Month

Sets of new robes and other offerings such as slippers, umbrellas, alms bowls, food, towels, soap and other necessities are presented to monks. Cash offerings for monasteries are also collected and displayed on wooden frames built in the shape of a tree. New cash notes are folded into bird and flower shapes.

 

08 Oct 2016

 

8 Oct 2017

ALL NIGHT ROBE WEAVING CONTESTS

Dates: Begins the evening before the Full Moon Day to Thadingyut
Location: Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon and other pagodas throughout the country
Duration:the whole night

On October 2, the evening before the Full Moon Day, teams of weavers compete to finish a monk’s robe during the night, to be offered to images at dawn the next day.

It is a major event at the Shwedagon Pagoda. This ritual was once practiced both in the palace during the time of monarchy and in villages.

 

Oct 07, 2016 till early morning Oct 08, 2016

 

Oct 27, 2017 till early morning Oct 28, 2017

HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL

Dates: 10th Waxing Day of Tazaungmon to Full Moon Day of Thazaungmon
Location: Taunggyi, southern Shan State
Duration: 5 Days

The daytime competitions are for balloons made in animal or bird shapes. At night fire balloons are decorated with strings of lanterns or designs made of lights. The balloons have a bamboo frame over which hand-made paper is glued. The hot air is generated by burning rags under the opening. Balloons are judged for size, style, design and the time they remain aloft. On the night of the Full Moon Taunggyi townsfolk hold a parade around the town carrying colourful lanterns.

 

01 – 06 Nov 2016

 

21 – 26 Nov 2017

THANBODDE PAGODA CEREMONY

Dates: 14th Waxing Day of Tazaungmon to Full Moon Day of Tazangmon
Location: Monywa
Duration: 2 Days

Like other pagoda festival with the usual entertainment provided. Myanmar thanaka, sandalwood and woven textiles (cotton blankets and longyis mainly) can be bought at the various stalls around the pagoda area.

 

05 – 06 Nov 2016

 

25 – 26 Nov 2017

PHO-WIN-TAUNG FESTIVAL, Monywa

Dates: 14th Waxing Day of Tazaungmon to Full Moon Day of Tazangmon
Location: Monywa
Duration: 2 Days

Like other pagoda festival with the usual entertainment provided. Myanmar thanaka, sandalwood and woven textiles (cotton blankets and longyis mainly) can be bought at the various stalls around the pagoda area.

 

05 – 06 Nov 2016

 

25 – 26 Nov 2017

TAZAUGDINE LIGHT FESTIVAL

Dates: One day before the Full Moon Day of Thazaungmon, the Full Moon Day and one day after
Location: Throughout Myanmar
Duration: 3 Days

Another festival of light held on the full moon day throughout the country. Home and streets are illuminated and Buddhists are provided robe and various requisites at Kathein (Ceremony of offering robes to monks). On this particular full moon day number total 9,999 candles are ceremoniously lit at mid night. Visitors are served with mixed salad of maezali buds, believed to possess powerful, magical and medicinal properties if eaten at this time.

 

05 – 07 Nov 2016

 

25 – 27 Nov 2017

KAUNGHMUDAW PAGODA FESTIVAL, Sagaing

Dates:Full Moon day of Tazaungmon
Location: Sagaing
Duration: 5 Days

The most interesting aspect of this festival is the caravan of bullock-carts in the pagoda compound. Some of the carts carry their village products, such as hand-woven cotton cloths and cane mats, to sell them there. They like to camp under the shade of the trees.

 

06 – 10 Nov 2016

 

26 – 30 Nov 2017

ROBE WEAVING CONTEST

Dates:Full Moon Day of Tazaungmon
Location: Throughout Myanmar
Duration: 1 Day

The robe weaving ceremony is held on the eve of the day before full moon day in one night. This is a competition for the weaving skills between teams of women to complete special saffron-coloured robes, called “Ma Tho Thin Gan” from the evening onwards at dawn. It is still done in the traditional way and lots of people enjoy watching the demonstrations. At dawn, the robes are offered to the great image of Lord Buddha and followed by the prize giving ceremony for the winners.

 

06 Nov 2016

 

26 Nov 2017

KYAIKHTIYO PAGODA FESTIVAL

Dates:Full Moon Day of Tazaungmon
Location: Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock)
Duration: 1Day

The boulder, standing on the edge of a peak in the highest mountain range, is said to be freely hanging over the cliff. The place is famous as a pilgrimage and holiday outing spot. On this particular full moon day number total 9,999 candles are ceremoniously lit at mid night.

 

06 Nov 2016

 

26 Nov 2017

SHWEMYETMHAN PAGODA FESTIVAL

Dates: 8th Waxing Day of Natdaw to Full Moon Day of Natdaw
Location: Shwe Taung near Pyay
Duration:8 Days

This pagoda festival is as same as the others pagoda festival. But one interesting thing is during the British time, Mrs. Hurtno wife of the commissioner was relieved from her eye disease after she offered a pair of glasses to the Buddha. Local people who lives around this area they believe that whoever have a problem with eyes they make novena to this pagoda.

 

29 Nov – 06 Dec 2016

 

19– 26 Dec 2017

POPA GUARDIAN SPIRITS FESTIVAL

Dates: Begins Full Moon Day of Nadaw
Location: Mount Popa, near Bagan
Duration:6 Days

The two spirit figures on either side of the Tharaba Gate at Bagan are the brother and sister spirits Lord of the Mountain and the Lady Golden Face who protect home or country. A festival takes place at Mount Popa in their honour.

 

06 – 11 Dec 2016

 

26 – 31 Dec 2017

KYAIK-HTI-YO “GOLDEN ROCK” PAGODA
NINE THOUSAND LAMPS

Dates: Evening of December 31
Location: Kyaik-hti-yo “Golden Rock” Pagoda, Mon State
Duration: One evening

On the platform of the Kyaik-hti-yo “Golden Rock” Pagoda devotees light nine thousand lamps to welcome the New Year and to give thanks to Buddha’s peaceful philosophy. The magical Golden Rock Pagoda, a golden spire, sits on top a huge boulder covered with gold leaf and perched on the edge of a cliff.

 

31 Dec 2016

 

31 Dec 2017