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If you have a chance to attend a festival during your stay in Myanmar, don’t miss it! It is a worthwhile experience. We will try to include it in your itinerary if there is any interesting festival.
 Myanmar is known as land of festivals. Every month based on the lunar calendar there are important religious festivals, most of them of Buddhist nature. They usually take into account the given facts of the time of the year (e.g. the Water festival comes in the hottest time, donation of rice-cake takes places after the harvesting time)
 Those festivals are usually visited by rural people, some villagers travel for days by oxcart and stay overnight for the festivals. People wear their best clothes, there is a lot of activity in the pagodas and usually many food stalls open.
The most important festival is the Water festival during middle of April (at the same time as the Water festival in Thailand), which lasts for 4 or 5 days. During those days, people pour each other water over the shoulders (although the water cups today sometimes are replaced by fire hoses) to wash away the bad things of the old year. “Mouk loun je baw” is eaten, a cake made from rice.
The last day of the Water festival is the Myanmar New Year. On the New Year’s Day, people go to the pagodas and monasteries to make offerings to the monks. Animals are let free which is believed to bring the people good luck and not to be held captive in their next live.
The elder people are respected by others washing their hair and cutting their nails.
 “Private” festivals are held, e.g. when boys or girls become monks or nuns. Every boy usually will go during his childhood for up to 10 days to the monastery, the novitiation (e.g. hair cutting and wearing monks robe the first time) is an important event.
 During the festival days, especially elder people will follow the 8 precepts (basic behaviour rules for Buddhists)
 Some of the ethnic tribes in addition celebrate their New Year Festivals at other times according to their customs.
 The New Year based on the Gregorian calendar is not celebrated widely.
 In the past, puppet theatre was a part of most; sometimes daylong; festivals. The habit of Puppet theatre unfortunately is not popular anymore amongst Myanmar people. Therefore the only chance to see one is on those occasions made for foreigners.

  Some of more important festivals with their names are listed below:

March BAW GYO FESTIVAL in Hsipaw
TABAUNG PAGODA FESTIVAL – many places (e.g. Kakku Festival near Inle Lake / Taunggyi and the Pindaya Cave Festival)
WATERFESTIVAL in the whole country
May MT. POPA (NAT) FESTIVAL near Bagan
 August  TAUNG BYONE (NAT) FESTIVAL near Mandalay




TAZAUNGDAING FESTIVAL – hot air balloon festival in Taunggyi




You can download the following festival calendar as pdf format  here:


Starting Date  Events & Festivals in Year 2018 City
25 December -16 January Ananda Pagoda Festival
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 31 January 2018. There may be noise from loudspeakers everywhere during festival.
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 are usually attended 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 2018, 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.
Myitkyina /

Kachin State

14-15 January Naga New Year festival
On the 1st day, 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
24-31 January Mahamuni Ceremony
This ceremony in which a number of monks chant Buddhist scriptures non-stop is held by the Burmese calendar from 8th Waxing day till full moon day). ,The full moon day is: 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 1st day, there is a communal offering of food (dry rations) and various domestic articles to monks from the 100 nearby monasteries.
24 January - 01 February Kyaik Khauk Pagoda Festival (at Syriam, near Yangon)
Most of the pagoda festivals have evening entertainments such as Zats, Anyeints, some stage shows and movies shown in the open air the whole night for every day. Villagers nearby come to the festival by motor bikes, Tuk-Tuk or ox-carts (rare to use nowadays), which can be seen just before and on full moon day.
 Kyaik Khauk Pagoda (Syriam, near Yangon)
30 January 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
31 January Full moon Day of Taboetwe  The Whole Country
31 January 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.
 North-west of Monywa
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 Taunggyi
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
15 February -01 March Maw-Tin Pagoda Festival Ngapudaw, near Pathein
15 February -01 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
16 February

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
17 February - 01 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 Mingyan
22 February -01 March Indawgyi Festival
Ca. 160 km from Myitkyina. At least 8 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
23 February -01 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
24 February -01 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
26 February -02 March Kakku Pagoda Festival
On 04 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 04 March (full moon day).
Kakku near Taunggy
26 February -02 March Pindaya Cave Festival
It is held on 09 to 13 March on full moon day 12 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.
28 February -02 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 addition, we can observe several Shan and other ethnic groups who come from the hills to sell their products.
Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo)
28 February -02 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)
01 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
02 March Peasant's Day 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
24 March - 04 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)
13 - 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
29 April 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
29 April Shitthaung Pagoda Festival
This pagoda festival will be on Full Moon day as the others pagoda festival but they have one exiting thing is they have traditional wrestling show and boat racing show.
Festival may held on either days or on both. Please check with us.
Mrauk Oo
29 April Shwe Kyet Yet Pagoda Festival
Shwe Kyet Yet near Amarapura
01 May May Day The whole country
02 May Popa Ceremony
Nat dances on Mt. Popa. Very much crowded and could be difficult to get up the mountain.
Mt. Popa
02 May - 05 June Shinbinsagyo Pagoda Ceremony  Sale (Salay) near Bagan
22 May - 05 June Thihoshin Pagoda Festival
There is festival market and also evening entertainments such as Zats, Anyeints and Movies.
20 - 27 June - 08 July
Chinlone (Cane Ball) Festival in Mandalay
The annual Chinlone Festival is being held 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
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.
The whole country
27 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


27 July - 24 October Fish Feeding Ceremony
Pwinphyu near Magwe


12 - 19 July 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.
22 - 25 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
03-09 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.

10 - 27 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
17 - 24 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.

19 October - 07 November Myathalon Pagoda Festival Magwe
23 - 24 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
23 - 25 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
24 October Full moon Day of Thadingyut The whole country
25 October Light Floating Festival
Lit candles light on paper boat and let them float onto the river

On this day, people float lamps on the Shwekyin River. Before lamp floating, visitors were lining the bank of the river to enjoy boat rowing contests and spectacles such as dance performance by troupes on boats. At evening, the river bank is crowded with spectators, boat carry visitors up and down the river to enjoy the entertainment and float their lamp.

11 - 12 November  Hot-air Balloon Festival
Taunggyi Hot-air balloons festival will be held from 24  October to 03 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.
15 November - 07 December Shwezigon Pagoda Festival
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 of Tazaung Daing, 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.
17 - 22 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
17 - 22 November    Hpo 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.
17 - 22 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. 
21 - 22 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.
22 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

21 - 22 November  

Tazaung Daing (Tazaung Mone) 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
22 November  
Full moon Day of Tazaung Daing (Tazaung Mone) The whole country
22 November  

Sagaing Tazaung Daing (Tazaung Mone) 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.
02 December  
National Day The whole country
15 - 22 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.
Near Pyay (Prome)
25 December Christmas Day The whole country
31 December - 01 January New Year Holidays The whole country







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Yangon, Myanmar
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Last Updated : 09 May 2018