FESTIVALS

MYANMAR FESTIVALS/ PUBLIC HOLIDAYS - 2013

Starting Date Events & Festivals in Year 2013 City
04 January

Independence Day

Celebrations organized by the government at People's Park in Yangon and across the whole country. Ceremonies start as early at 04:20 a.m. and can usually attend by special invited guests.

General Public celebrates in their respect wards and tracks various kinds traditional games (adults arrange for children for fun) in the morning time up to the afternoon in their particular wards (especially in Yangon). All government offices and markets are closed.

The whole country
07-11 January

Kachin Manaw Festival (State Day Festival)

Kachin Manaw Festival in Myitkyina, Kachin State day is on 10 Jan 2013, the festival will be held three days ahead of Kachin State day.

But they celebrate once in 4th year or 10th year. Please check with us whether celebrate or not.

Kachin State
19 January – 10 February

Ananda Pagoda Festival

Ananda Pagoda festival will be held starting from 01 to 23 Jan 2011. There are evening entertainments such as Zats: a variety of dances, songs, short and long plays, Anyeints: a performance of a few hours in which number of jokers caricature current situations and or person strung together by a traditional dances, popular movies shown in open air. It is also a popular sales fair where all kinds of goods, some of them are locally produced and sold. The most interesting aspect of this festival is the caravan of bullock carts in the pagoda compound, camped under the shady trees. It is very crowded around the full moon day on 08 Jan 2011. There may be noise from loudspeakers everywhere during festival.

Bagan
12 January

Kayah State Day

Kayah State
14-15 January

Naga New Year festival

The New Year is celebrated from 14 to 15 January 2013. On the 15th, 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 Naga, once fierce worriers in their bright and exotic dresses, celebrate with rice wine roasted meat and tribal dances performed with loud beating of drums.

Chin State
23 January

Chinese New Year

Celebration starts from New Year day about 10 days. The lion and dragon dances are festivities of New Year. Red and gold colors are lucky color for Chinese so houses and shops are decorated with that color at New Year. On the New Year Eve Day, all family members gather together, pay respect to ancestor and have meal to be a good year. Next tradition of Chinese is giving a present or money in red envelope, called Ann-pond, from old people to young single people. On the eve and New Year days, really crowded at china town and Chinese temple. Festival is held the whole country, but only crowded in big cities (e.g. Yangon & Mandalay).

The whole country
03 February

Feast of Shan Harvest day

The festival is usually celebrated in the rural regions of Shan State.

Shan State
07 February

Shan State Day

Shan State
18 – 25 February
Mahamuni Ceremony

18 – 25 February  (Burmese calendar 8th Waxing day till full moon day), ceremony in which a number of monks chant Buddhist scriptures non-stop. 07 Feb: the real festival days with 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.

On the 8th waxing day (18 Feb), there is a communal offering of food (dry rations) and various domestic articles to monks from the 100 nearby monasteries.

Mandalay
18 – 26 February
Kyaik Khauk Pagoda Festival (at Syriam, near Yangon)

Kyaik Khauk Pagoda Festival will be held starting from 18 – 26 February. 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.

Kyaik Khauk Pagoda (Syriam, near Yangon)
12 February

Union Day

Celebrations arranged by the government at People's Park in Yangon and across the whole country. Mostly early morning. All offices and markets are closed (the whole country)

The whole country
24 February

Htamane (Glutinous rice) Festival

Htamane (Glutinous rice) Festival is held on the eve of the day before full moon day in one night on Shwedagon Pagoda (start from around 4:00 p.m.). This is a competition between teams of men for donation of Glutinous rice to the great Lord Buddha at early morning on full moon day. There are lots of people enjoy watching the demonstrations and when finished, Glutinous rice are distributed as donation to people and followed by the prize giving ceremony for the winners.

On Shwedagon Pagoda
25 February

Alaungdaw Kathapa Pagoda (lighting) Festival

Alaungdaw Kathapa Pagoda (lighting) Festival is held on the full moon day.

It is crowded with the local people from surrounding area and far distances. The festival is held by lighting to the Pagoda and National Cave.

near Mandalay
02 March

Peasant's Day

The whole country
11 – 26  March

Maw-Tin Pagoda Festival

Ngapudaw, near Pathein
11 – 26  March

Pakhan Ko Gyi Kyaw Festival

Regional Nat Festival like Taung Byone and Yadanar Gu. (Shwe Gu Ni Village between Pakokku and Mingyan)

Shwe Gu Ni Village between Pakokku and Min-gyan
22 February - 07 March

Shwe Saryan Pagoda Festival

45 minutes drive from Mandalay on the way to Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo) near Hton Bo. You can also take a small boat on the Douhtawaddy River and visit the pagodas nearby. Myanmar traditional toys, boxes, baskets and mats made of dried toddy palm leaves are the best selling village products in this festival.

Shwe Saryan Village in Patheingyi Township near Mandalay
19 – 26  March

Indawgyi Festival

Ca.160 km from Myitkyina. Approximately 5 hours drive to Indawgyi Lake. This festival is held annually 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.

Hopin, near Myitkyina
20 – 26  March

Zalun Pyidawpyan Image Festival

Zalun is situated near Hinthada town in Ayeyarwaddy Division.

The pagoda is crowded with the local people and there is a festival market also.

Zalun town
21 – 26  March

Baw-gyo Festival

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.

near Hsipaw
23 -27 March 

Kakku Pagoda Festival

On 07 March, alms offering is carried out by the native Pa-O people dressed in their traditional black outfits. There is a festival market also. The best time to see the festivities is on 07 March (full moon day).

Kakku near Taunggyi
23 -27 March 

Pindaya Cave Festival

It is held on 05 to 07 March of full moon day 07 March in Pindaya with offerings made by the native tribes such as Danu, Pa-O, Taung Yoe and Palaung. Festivities include performances with roaming artisans and the festival market.

Pindaya
25 - 26 March

Nyan Taw Pagoda Festival (Shwe Myin Tin Pagoda)

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 Pyin Oo Lwin. In additions, we can observe several Shan and other ethnic groups who come from the hills to sell their products.

Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo)



25 - 26 March

Nay Win Taung Pagoda Festival

Same as Nyan Taw Pagoda Festival. Traditional Shan festival. It takes place in the northern part of Pyin Oo Lwin, about an hour's drive from the downtown area.

Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo)
26 March

Full moon Day of Tabaung

Ceremonies are held at Pagodas all over the country and most of the famous pagodas are very much crowded with local people. People celebrate today by donating drinking water and juices at pagodas and in some wards and streets, people donate traditional foods. Everyone can enjoy it.

The whole country
27 March

Armed Forces Day

Celebration arranged by the government at Nay Pyi Taw. Ceremony starts at very early around 3:00 a.m. and can usually not be attended by the public. All government offices are closed.

Nay Pyi Taw
18 - 30 April

Shwemawdaw Pagoda Festival

Same with the other pagoda festival. There are evening entertainment such as Zats, Anyeints, stage show and also a popular sales fair where all kinds of goods, most of them are clothes, toys and kitchen supplies. (not expensive one)

Bago
12-16 April

Water Festival

Myanmar people celebrate the famous water festival called "Thingyan". One cannot avoid of getting very wet because every one throws water at everybody. People drive through the city in open cars and there are stages along the street where people throw water. During this time, most restaurants, shops, markets, museums etc. are closed.

The whole country
17 April

Myanmar New Year

This is the start of the new year and the end of the Water Festival. The whole country is very quiet and everything is closed.

The whole country
24 May Shitthaung Pagoda Festival

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

Mrauk Oo
01 May

May Day

The whole country
08 May

Popa Ceremony

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

Mt. Popa
08 - 22 July 

Chinlone (Cane Ball) Festival in Mandalay

The annual Chinlone Festival is being held from 08 - 22 July at the Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay. The festival held not as competitions but as entertainment. Not only local teams but also foreigners are participating in the festival. Aside from Chinlone competitions, there are also folk performances and local food and handicrafts for sale.

At Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay
24 May

Shwe Kyet Yet Pagoda Festival

Shwe Kyet Yet near Amarapura
24 May

Full moon Day of Kasone

Pouring water to the sacred Bo-Tree. No other special entertainment. Just only a small ceremony all over the country. Especially lots of crowds at Shwekyetyet Pagoda.

The whole country
16 -30 June

Thihoshin Pagoda Festival

This pagoda festival will be held from 16 -30 June . There is festival market and also evening entertainments such as Zats, Anyeints and Movies.

Pakkoku
16 -30 June

Shinbinsagyo Pagoda Ceremony

Sale (Salay) near Bagan
22 July - 19  
October

Fish Feeding Ceremony

Pwinphyu near Magwe
22 July

Full moon Day of Waso

Start of Buddhist lent. Donation ceremonies of new robes and other temporal requirements to the monks all over the country at major pagodas, monasteries and even at homes.

The whole country
19 July

Martyr's Day

The day of the assassination of General Aung San and other ministers. Early morning (private) memorial services at the monument near Shwedagon Pagoda.

Thw whole country
07 - 13 August

Shwe Kyun Pin Festival

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

Mingun
17 - 21 August

Taung Byone Festival

Traditional Nat Festival. The most famous in upper Myanmar, around 1 hour drive from Mandalay. It lasts five days and every day has special programs. Festival where especially youngsters are merry and enjoy drinking and where people of all ages can join in the Nat dance. Ceremonies are mostly at night and it is very hard to get into the village.

Mataya town near Mandalay
29 August  - 04 September

Yadanar Gu Festival

Traditional Nat festival on the Mandalay - Sagaing road, around 30 mins. drive from Mandalay. We can take a small sampan along the lake up to the Nat Shrine hall.

Amarapura
05 - 22 October

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

The biggest occasion of the Inle Lake. The images of the Buddha from Phaung Daw Oo are placed on a decorated royal barge and taken around the lake, stopping at villages for people to pay homage. The festival is full of pageantry and colorful, and there are fun fairs, music, dances and boat races. Since this festival lasts very long, please check with us for exact dates and events.

Inle (Inlay) Lake
12 - 19 October

Kyauktawgyi Pagoda Festival

It's situated at the foot of Mandalay Hill. It is considered popular sales fair where all kinds of goods (some of them locally produced) are sold. Next to that is the usual organization of events similar to other Pagoda Festivals.

Mandalay
14 October – 02 November

Myathalon Pagoda Festival

Magwe
18 - 19 October

Elephant Dance Festival

Yearly cultural highlight of Kyaukse. The whole town competes, not only for the best "elephant dance"-performance, but at the same time for the nicest-decorated "elephant". For the dance itself: two men get inside at life-size hollowed-out papier-mache' elephant figure and imitate the movements of a real elephant. Usually there is a 'lead'-man who coordinates the movements of the dancers, assisted by a small number of musicians. The festival is celebrated on the day before full moon day of Tadingyut. As the day progresses, it is getting more and more crowded because people nearby villages and as far away as Mandalay come to Kyaukse and join in the festivities.

Kyaukse, south of Mandalay
18 – 20 October

Thadingyut Festival

End of Buddhist lent. And also the festival of lights. Pagodas, houses and streets are brilliantly illuminated. It is not only a time of joy but also thanksgiving and paying homage to teachers, parents and elders.

The whole country
19 October 

Full moon Day of Thadingyut

The whole country
20 October

Light Floating Festival

Lit candles light on paper boat and let them float onto the river

Shwekyin
10 November – 02 December

Shwezigon Pagoda Festival

Shwezigon Pagoda Festival will be held starting 10 November – 02 December. There are evening entertainments such as Zats (a variety of dances, songs, short and long plays), Anyeints (a performance of a few hours in which a number of "jokers" caricature current situations and or person strung together by a traditional dancer, popular movies shown in open air. On full moon day (17 November), there is a communal offering of food and various domestic articles to the monks from the nearby monasteries (ca. 600) lined up as in usual offerings.

Bagan
12 - 17 November   

Thanbodday Pagoda Ceremony

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

Monywa
12 - 17 November   

Po Win Daung Festival

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

Monywa
11 - 17 November

Hot-air Balloon Festival

Taunggyi Hot-air balloons festival will be held from 11 - 17 November and can watch the various competitions of hot-air balloons. At day-time, see the competitions of decorated hot-air balloons in different shapes and forms of animals such as elephants, horse, cattle, pig, mythical Hintha bird and hen etc. Also see the fireworks and firecrackers of hot air-balloon at night time.

Taunggyi
12 - 17 November   

Kaunghmudaw Pagoda Festival

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 clothes and cane mats, to sell them there. They like to camp under the shade of the trees.

Sagaing
16 November

Robe Weaving Contest

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-colored robes, called "Ma Thoe 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.

 

Big Cities
16 - 17 November

Shin Mar Le pagoda Festival

Celebrated at the time of the Tazaung Daing Festival. People throw with lotus flowers to the top of the stupa, located at the North entrance of the Mahamuni Pagoda, as homage to the Lord Buddha.

Thazi
17 November

Tazaung Daing Full moon Festival

Many locals of different status offer yellow robes & other items such as slippers, umbrellas, alms bowls and other domestic articles to the monks. This offering ceremony is commonly called "Kathein" and every local hope - at least once in his /her life - to participate in this event.

The whole country
17 November

Sagaing Tazaung Daing Full moon Festival

Sagaing attracts quite some crowds, as it is known as the Buddhist place of retreat per excellence in the country with a concentration of monasteries, nunneries and pagodas in that area. Many people (even from Mandalay) go and spend the whole night (proceeding full moon day) in Sagaing.

Sagaing
27 November

National Day

The whole country
10  - 17 December

Shwemyetmhan (Golden Spectacles) Pagoda Festival

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.

Shwetaung Near Pyay (Prome)
25 December

Christmas Day

The whole country