Myanmar festivals, a part of the spiritual life

There are many Myanmar festivals that tourists can take part in when travelling in this country. The festivals not only show the traditions of Myanmar, but they are also a part of the mental life of Burmese people.

Myanmar festivals in January

Myanmar festivals, a part of the spiritual life

Coming to Myanmar in January, do not miss a chance to visit Bagan and join in Ananda Pagoda Festival. It is held from 27 Dec to 1 Jan annually. There are very interesting activities taking place during the time, including traditional singing, theater performances and colorful round dance. Tourists can also find a market opened in the festival, which sells various products to be good souvenirs. 

Another interesting festival for tourists when visiting Myanmar in January is Manaw, which takes place in Kachin. It is the festival held by a group of mountainous people, known as “the Scottish of Burma”, for over 30 years. People locate Manaw columns decorated with colorful Kachin images. They line up and dance around the column for a spiritual rituality. 

Besides, Myanmar people also hold many other festivals in January, outstandingly namely Naga New Year Festival (from 12 to 18), Mahamuni Pagoden Festival in Mandalay (from 17 to 31), Nyan Taw Pagoda Festival in Maymyo (from 23 to 31) and Golden Hilltop Festival in Kyaik Khauk Pagoda (from 26 January to 1 February)

Myanmar festivals in February

From Mandalay, it takes 45 minutes to get to Patheingyi, the place to hold Shwe Saryan Pagoda Festival. Tourists can hire a boat to travel on the Douhtawaddy River and watch the surrounding sceneries. During the time for this festival, local people sell mats, traditional toys and baskets for souvenirs or for the need of others.

Indawgyi Festival in Myitkyina is also held in February. There are two sandbanks letting people to pass the river and get to the pagoda for festival. They will drown into the water after the festival. 

Pindaya Cave is very famous for tourism in Myanmar. However, there is a festival held in February annually in this cave. During the festival, Buddhists will have a chance to get closed to the four figures of Buddha and gild gold leaves on them. There are also two popular festival recommended for tourists, which are Kekku Pagoda Festival in Taunggyi, and Na Win Taung Pagoda Festival in Maymyo.

Myanmar festivals in March

Ah-Lone town near Monywa hold its festival in this month. The local people worship Ma Ngwe Daung, a daughter of an Indian prince. The festival celebrates the love story of Ma Ngwe Daung. Pilgrims often come to this festival to wish for their better health and recovering from illnesses.

Myanmar festivals, a part of the spiritual life 

Maung Dong Nat is also an important festival in Myanmar, held in April every year. In Maung Dong, tourists can see a 30-cm high statue of Ye Kin Kadaw, the queen of witches and a wife of King Taung U. Devotees will offer fruits and beautiful decorators and money in a shrine where locates 37 “Nats”.

Myanmar festivals in April

The most outstanding festival in April in Myanmar is Thingyan Water Festival, which is held right before the Burmese New Year during three days, from 13 to 16 April. People who take part in the festival will splash water over others. The elderly will retreat in monasteries. Along the streets, there are many performances with traditional dances and other types of entertaining activities. 

Sand-Stupa-Festival is held in three districts (Yahai Quarter, Min Thar Su Quarter and Pa Le Ngwe Yaung Quarter) in Burma for 5 days, from 24 to 29 April. Stupas are built over one night from sand with five parts into floors connected together by bamboo mats and posts. 

On 14 April, there is a big festival on Mount Popa. People gather very crowded here and it becomes difficult to get to the top of the mountain. Besides, Shwe Kyet Event in Amarapura and Shite-Thaung Pagoda Festival in Mrauk Oo are also very well-known for worldwide tourists.

Myanmar festivals in May

Thi-Ho-Shin is a pagoda festival taking place from 25-29 May. There are anyeins and movies to be shown through the event. The local people also sell souvenirs and stuff in a market and tremendous evening activities will be held in this festival as well.

Myanmar festivals in June

Probably Chin-Lone Festival is the most known. It is held at Mahamuni Pagoda of Mandalay. The word Chin Lone in Burmese means a bamboo or rattan ball. With the composing of music, players will keep the ball on air as long as possible without using their hands. Their skills will amaze the watchers on the streets. 

Myanmar festivals in August

Shwe Kyun Pin Nat Pwe Mingun is a festival held in Mandalay for 6 days from 14-19 August. There is a legend about “the Pagoda of Despair” (Lwan Hpaya) and the “Nats” of Shweli River. The local people will be very willing to tell you the tale. Farmers will dress in bright colors after their harvest time, ride their ox carts to Myatheindan Pagoda and erect a temporary tent for the Nats. They will perform a Nat dance to wish for the better harvest of the next year. 

 Myanmar festivals, a part of the spiritual life

Taung Byone Nat or Spirit Festival is held in the rainy season, especially from 19-26 August. People come to the festival to worship Nats and wish for better health and wealth. During the days of this festival, the streets will be very crowded and noisy with many sounds, performances and trading activities.

Myanmar festivals in September

Yadana Gu Nat Festival is celebrated in Amapura near Mandalay. According to the local legend, the mother of two lords and Mount Popa Medaw, Mewanna established a transit camp in Yaganagu. The festival is held in honor of her. The trip on a rowing boat to the festival place would be very interesting.

Bo Bo Gyi Nat Festival in Taungthaman, near Mandalay also occurred in September. Bo Bo Gyi is honored as a Nat in Myanmar. During the festival, pilgrims throw tea packets at each other. Who is hit have to come to the festival in the next year.

Myanmar festivals in October

The most famous festival at Inle Lake is Phaung Daw Oo Fest, from 10th -27th. It is a very colorful and traditional festival with many dances and boat races.

Kyaukdawgyi Pagoda Festival is help in Mandalay from 20-24 October. Like other pagoda festivals, there are handicraft products to be sold and many interesting entertaining activities.
Indein Pagoda festival, Elephant festival and Thadingyut festival of lights are also great festivals held in October that attract a lot of tourists to come and join in.

Myanmar festivals in November

During 15-24 Nov, Kaung Hmu Daw Pagoda festival occurred in Sagaing, Myanmar. The outstanding feature of this festival is the sight that caravan and ox carts transport local goods to take place of the pagoda grounds under tree shades for trading.

 Myanmar festivals, a part of the spiritual life

The sight of Balloon festival in Taunggyi is very nice. This festival is held from 16-22 November. People will release balloons to the sky with the hope to contain their wishes and reach the heaven. The balloons are decorated outside with colorful lanterns. 

Shwezigon Pagoda is already famous to foreign tourists when mentioning Myanmar festivals. It is celebrated in Bagan from 19-22 November. Also in this month, there are also Thanbodde Pagoda Festival in and Pho-Win-Taung festival in Monywa, with tremendous kinds of goods are sold. People also pay attention to Tazaugdine Festival of Light and Robe Weaving contest throughout Myanmar. Besides, mentioning the Golden Rock, visitors must not ignore the festival of Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda on 22 November. 

Myanmar festivals in December

In the last month of the year, the most famous festival to include in the list is Mount Popa Nat Festival in Popa Mountain. It takes place on 22 December. This mount is certainly the most important place to worship Nats in Myanmar. In the past, Burmese people killed animals to offer the Nats. However, from the Dynasty of Bagan, this convention was removed and there are only two parts for the celebration, including the spirit processions and drunken ecstasy.

Myanmar is the country of religion. Therefore, coming to this country at any time of the year, you can have a chance to take part in interesting traditional festivals with tremendous unique cultural activities and souvenirs sold for a memorable trip. With the list of best Myanmar festivals, hopefully your travel to the country will always be meaningful with experiences and explorations.