Buddhism is the heart of Myanmar culture and it pervades private and public life of the country, where a larger number of ethnic minorities live together. Throughout the year there are several Myanmar traditional festivals in honor of Buddha or animist divinities that you can attend during your Burma trip.
The main traditional festivals of Burmese culture
Plan your own tour to Myanmar now! Here is a calendar of the main Myanmar traditional festivals throughout the year, which associated with Burmese culture as a whole.
Thingyan Water Festival: This festival is celebrated in the beginning of the year for the people of Myanmar. Lasting for several days, it is a great opportunity to wish everyone good luck and a happy new year by throwing or dousing water on them.
Kason Festival: This is to celebrate the birthday of Buddha. The main activity in this festival is visiting pagodas to pour water on the Bo trees, the symbols of the Buddha Illumination.
Waso Festival: This celebration is to commemorate the first sermon of Buddha-the monks begin Lent. People also wear new outfits and other essential tools to enable them to stand out during Lent.
Festival Thadingyut (Festival of Lights): This festival marks the end of Lent. Houses and streets are adorned and illuminated during three days of the festival. People crowd the pagodas to pray, and the young pay their respects to their elders.
Elephant Dance Festival: The best place to attend the celebrations of this festival is Kyuak-se, 40km in the South of Mandalay. You can have chance to see two real-sized elephants, one black, the other white, dancing in the city.
Tazaungdaing Festival: The houses and streets are decorated and illuminated for this festival. Dresses and other tools are offered to the monks. Teams of spinners play a challenge between them to finish these dresses, which are then offered to images of Buddha.
04 Jan: Independence Day
12 February: Union Day
02 March: Peasant’s Day
24 March: Full Moon Day of Tabaung
27 March: Armed Forces Day
12-17 April: Water Festival
01 May: Labor Day
19 July: Martyrs Day
20 July: Waso Full Moon
05 October: Full moon of Thadingyut (end of Lent Buddhist)
03 November: Full Moon of Tazaungmone
13 November: National Holiday
25 December: Christmas Day
TOP 3 of traditional Burma festivals not to be missed
Exciting traditional festivals may be the best part that you should not miss during your Myanmar holidays. In addition to offering you a glimpse of the religious fervor that unites the country, it is also a tremendous opportunity for all travelers to learn about the daily life with local residents in a more human adventure.
Here is a TOP 3 of traditional Burmese festivals not to be missed.
1. The festival of the Ananda Pagoda (January)
Held in the ancient ruins of Bagan during the days around the first full moon of the year, the Ananda Pagoda Festival is one of the most important festival of the country. The festival, celebrates the first harvests, is a wonderful opportunity for travelers from all over the world; At the heart of an unparalleled spiritual and archaeological site in the country, you can enjoy the first crops of the country in one of the many food stalls. Therefore, this is the best time to visit Bagan Myanmar.
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2. The Thingyan Water Festival (April)
This marks the New Year of the Burmese. The symbolism of water allows one to wash bad luck in order to start a pure New Year. It is a five-day nationwide purification ritual where you can join hordes of Burmese, young and old, who take advantage of the smallest opportunity and the smallest tool they have at hand to water and soak. Additionally, the evening is the best time to enjoy wonderful local specialties.
3. The Tazaungdaing Light Festival / Taunggyi Balloon Festival (November)
To mark the end of the rainy season and the full moon, people gather for a release of paper lanterns. These lanterns are considered offerings to keep evil spirits away to heaven.
This holiday is best appreciated in Tanggyi, where hundreds of balloons are released into the sky during day and night and throughout the weekend. Of all shapes, colors and sizes, these lanterns are sometimes decorated with fireworks to be even more beautiful and fairy-tale.
During your Myanmar vacation, do not hesitate to stop to celebrate one of the traditional festivals of Burma with the local inhabitants. This will be an opportunity for you to create fabulous memories.