(Foreign Visitors)

This affords visitors a wonderful opportunity to gain firsthand insight into the living culture of Myanmar. The exact dates of the festivals are calculated according to the Myanmar lunar calendar, so only approximate months are given as they can change from year to year. Pagoda festivals are like country fairs, while nat (spirit) ceremonies are accompanied by plenty of music, dancing and eating.


IN MARCH

IndawgyiPaya Festival

indawgyiIt is one of a famous lake in Myanmar located in HopinTownship  via 100 miles far from Myintkyina. Approximately  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.

 

BawgyoPayaPwe( Festival)

bawgyoCelebrate in Hsipaw Township in Shan State once opening door of enshrine throne of image within  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 jewellers from Kyauk Me who try and sell their products there. Many kinds of gambling are allowed during the festival days only.

 

 

Kakku Pagoda Festival

kakkuBetween Taunggyi; capital of Shan State and Hopone  perform festival inKakku in the full moon day .Alms offering is carried out by the native (Pa-O) people dressed in their traditional black out fits. There is the festival market also. Normally the festival will begin two or three days in advance for this is not just a religious festival but also a social occasion. It is the time for all to have fun, exchange news and gossips, to trade. Pa O people in all their finery come with gaily decorated trays bearing morning food offerings.

 

Pindaya Cave Festival

PindayaShweOo Min cave Pagoda festival is held on and around Full moon day of Tabaung as well. It starts seven days before the full moon day. During the festival time, thousands of devotees come from villages around the area to the cave. A kind of pagoda mall is set up at the foot of the hill under big shady Banyan trees to sell local products.Celebrate the day of  taboung full moon  in Pindaya with offerings made by the native tribes such as Danu, Pa-O, TaungYoe and Palaung. Festivities include performances with roaming artisans and the festival market.


IN APRIL/MAY

Thingyan (Pouring Water) & Myanmar New Year Festival

thingyanCelebrate from 13thApril  to 16th April Entire MyanmarMyanmar people  called “Thingyan”(in English Water Festival). 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, everything is closed: restaurants, shops, markets, Museum, etc.

The last day  after in17th  April  is the start of the Myanmar  New Year("hnithsan ta yet nei")  and theendof the Thingyan ;water festival. It is a time for people to visit the elders and pay obeisance by gadaw (in English worshiping to old men and women) with a traditional offering of sandalwood water in a terracotta pot and shampoo. Young people perform hair washing for the elderly often in the traditional manner with shampoo beans (Acacia Rugata) and bark.

Shwemawdaw Pagoda Festival

Now that the long-awaited festival was almost upon them, the air of excitement among the villagers was intense. Family groups had packed into a long stream of slow-moving cow carts trundling along towards the festivities. Some had started out the previous day for the one-night, half-day ride from their village. Some slept, some chatted quietly, others teased and joked and shouted at each other. All of them carried with them what they needed to enjoy the 10-day festival. Families brought from their villages everything from pins and needles to kitchen utensils and even beds, to make themselves a home from home during festival time.

BagoSame 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 & kitchen supplies.

Mount Popa Nat Festival

popa-natThe festival involves a transgender medium being possessed by a nat spirit which give him the ability to communicate between the nats and the people. It is these types of festivals, the type that are unique to the region but also incredibly important to the participants, that attracts tourists to Burma. The tourist business is booming in Burma, however this new source of income is not propelling the Burmese population to prosperity. One major problem of the tourist trade is the religious importance of Mount Popa is being exploited.

In Myanmar the government is more focused on the expansion of tourism as opposed to the defense of cultural practices.There are no security measures in place to keep religious sites, like Mount Popa, away from the detrimental effects of tourism.


IN MAY

ShweKyet Yet /ShweKyeKya Pagoda Festival
(Traditional Boat Race)

ShweKyet Yet Pagoda lies on ShweKyet Yet Hill, also known as Mandagiri while embryo Buddha was reborn a king of chicken in his early lives. It is one of the 84,000 pagodas built by King ThiriDhammaThawka in Sakarit 218.It was renovated by King Anawrahta in 411 and NarapateSithu of Bagan in 537.

NarapateSithu built Aungswagyi and Aungswange pagodas and NarapateSithu Pagoda near by. ShweKyet Yet Pagoda was further renovated by Queen Tarapya of Sagaing, King Swasawke, Thalun, Sinbyushin, Bodawpaya's son ThiriMahaDham-mabizayaThihathu, Bagyidaw,Bagan King's consort Mindon's queen of the northern palace. However most of the statues and ancient buildings seen today are those of King Bagan.

Rakhine Shite ThoungTemple(Paya)Festival

shitthoungThis pagoda festival would be held  after Thingyan(Water Festival)  in Myanmar/Rakhine Full moon day in Mrauk U as same as the others pagoda festival but they have one exiting thing is they have Rakhine(Arakanese)traditional boxing show.TheShitthaung Pagoda, located about half a mile to the north of the palace site was built by one of the most powerful kings of the Mrauk-U Dynasty, called by the people, Minbargyi, but according to records on inscriptions as King Minbin who reined from 1513 to 1553. The king built this fortress-temple after repulsing a Portuguese attack. The Portuguese mercenaries later served under Rakhine kings.

The Shitthaung or "temple of the 80,000 Buddhas" is a fascinating place full of small images, scenes in sculpture of Buddhist stories with the kings and queens, courtiers and common people portrayed in their mediaeval costumes and head-dresses, all frozen in stone throughout the ages. You should take a good torch-light to examine the myriad interesting scenes and figures lining the dark corridors of this temple. You can see some Rakhine men boxing and wrestling, some girls dancing and playing, and then there are also the mythical birds, beasts and half-human celestials and demons. Try and find the figures of both the male and female Vasundhra/ Vasundhari symbolizing the God /Goddess of the Earth.There was also surprisingly an elite corps of Japanese bodyguards protecting the kings of Rakhine.


IN JUNE/JULY

Chin Lone (Cane Ball) Festival
(Mahamuni Sacred Image Festival)

Myanmar  Chin Lone (Cane Ball) tournament held during Waso Full Moon Day 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.
The spirit of this game is playful and fun. You start playing and before long, everyone is laughing as they play. Chinlone is a funny game – it's almost impossible to keep the ball up for long with the feet, especially when you are trying to do extraordinary moves with the ball. But the moments when everything comes together are intense and magical.


IN JULY/AUGUST

Shwe Kyun Pin Nat Festival

shwe-kyun-pinIn Mandalay region  Mingwan  village, on the bank of Ayeyarwaddy river . Can observe several kinds to ceramic wares from Singaing and Kyaukmyaung are laid out at the bank of river for sale during the festival.

 

 

Taung Byone Nat Festival

taungpyoneThis popular  Traditional Nat Festival  is so crowd due  festival days its location between Matara Township and  Mandalay. The most famous in Upper Myanmar an  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.

Tens of thousands are gathering in Taung Pyone (Taung Byone) near Mandalay to celebrate the annual nat pwe (festival for spirits). The week-long festival starts this week with as many as100,000 believers gathering to celebrate in the grand festival for the nats (spirits).There are a number of nat pwes (spirit festivals) in Myanmar. Of these, Taung Pyone is the largest and the most important festival of all. This festival is to commemorate the fable of the two nat brothers Min Gyi and Min Lay, also known as Shwe Byin Nyi Naung (Shwe Phyin Nyi Naung or Shwe Byin Brothers).

taungpyone2These two brothers were the heroes/worriors during the time of Bagan King Anawrahta. According to the legend, these two were drunk on their night of their duty to build a pagoda. This was found out by the king and were ordered to be executed. However, they were later proclaimed as nats by King Anawrahta, possibly due to their popularity among the ordinary citizens. Since that time, these two brothers had been worshipped by millions of believers all over Burma.

 

taungpyone3Ceremony is guided by the traditional spirit mediums (called nat-ka-daw or wife of nat) who are almost always transvestites. Participants in the festival believe the two brothers have power to grant richness and wealth to their followers. Many make pilgrimage to pay respect to the nats as well as to ask for fortune and favour from the nats.

 

 

Yadana Gu Nat Festival

Both   Rural and Traditional Nat festival celebrate in Amarapura on the Mandalay-Sagaing road after Taung Byone  more popular nat pwe.Will drive  half an hour drives from Mandalay the strange view mostly worshipers get in  a small sampan along the lake up to the Nat Shrine hall.


IN OCTOBER/NOVEMBER

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

phaungdawooThe high point of the festival is on the day when the images arrive at the main town of Nyaung Shwe, where most pilgrims from the surrounding region come to pay their respects and veneration. The public was allowed inside the prayer hall of the haw to pay their respects. Then the images would be taken to the main temple in Nyaung Shwe. Since the mid 1960s, the images have by passed the visit to the haw and taken directly to the temple. It is now usually welcomed to Nyaung Shwe by some high-ranking official in the government.

Inle LakeThe biggest occasion of the Lake Inle. 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 colourful, 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

Kyaukdawgyi Pagoda Festival

Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda of Mandalay, a four-day festival ending on the day after the Full Moon Day of Thadingyut. Mandalays ,the last royal capital of Myanmar Kings its situated at the foot of Mandalay hill, within a short walking distance from Mandalay Hill Hotel. This pagoda itself is noted for its Buddha Image that was carved out of a single block of huge marble.

This Pagoda festival is one of the most prominent in Mandalay with lots of food stalls, theatrical shows, magic shows, and so on. 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.

Elephant Dance Festival

elephantKyaukseYearly cultural highlight of Kyaukse, 26 miles to the south of Mandalay. 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-mâché 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 Thadingyut . 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.


IN NOVEMBER

Shwezigon Pagoda Festival

shwezigoneBagan Shwezigon Festival will  held starting in  November . There are evening entertainments such 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 ( 12th Nov), there is a communal offering of food and various domestic articles to the monks from the nearby monasteries  lined up as in usual offerings.

 

Monywa Moenyin Thanbuddhay Pagoda Festival

monywaLocated about 20 kilometres from Monywa Town is the Thanbuddhay Buddhist temple complex on 37 acres of land which is part of the Mohnyin Forest Monastery retreat. The pagoda was started on 20th June 1939 and completed on 2nd March 1952.It was the brain-child of the famous Mohnyin Sayadaw whose life-like effigy can be seen nearby. The architecture design concept of this pagoda is similar to Borobodur at the first look. Unlike Borobodur this is a modern place of worship, well maintained, and with interesting samples of modern Buddhist art.

There are many different Buddha images, row upon row in ascending tiers in niches along the walls: the total number is 582, 257, an amazing figure! Unlike most of the pagodas in Myanmar, the entrance is not guarded by Chinthes, the mythical lions, but by statues of a pair of magnificant white elephants which are sacred and auspicious in Buddhist symbolism. Thanboddhay is the only pagoda with this unique shape in the whole country.

Kaunghmudaw Pagoda Festival

kaungmudawThe 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 in Sagaing.This huge pagoda is 10 km beyond the town of Sagaing.

The enormous dome rises 46 m (151 feet) in the shape of a perfect hemisphere and was modeled after the Mahaceti Pagoda in Ceylon. Also known as Rajamanisula, the pagoda was built to commemorate Inwa's establishment as the royal capital of Myanmar. Around the base of the pagoda are stone pillars, each of which is 1.5 m high. The details of the pagoda's construction are recorded on them.

Shan Fire Balloon Festival (Taunggyi )

taunggyiTaunggyi Fire balloons festival will be held from 6 -12 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.

Meanwhile also celebrate  Robe Weaving Contest 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 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.