CALENDAR OF MYANMAR FESTIVAL DAYS – (2015-2016)

 

JANUARY -2015

Independence Day
Jan 4th

Myanmar (the Burma) gained Independence from Britain in 1948.
Official flag-hoisting ceremony held at Peoples’ Park followed by individual hoisting at each household.


Kachin Manaw Festival
Jan 10th

Location : Myitkyina, Kachin State
Speeches by Kachin elders followed by group dances.


Nar-ga New Year
Jan 12-16

Location :Kham-ti ,Sagaing Gayals are staughtered in sacrifice followed by singing dancing and drinking of alcholic beverages the whole night by a huge bonfire.


Lourdes Procession
Jan 15 – 16 1st waxing day of Tabodwe

Location : St.John Church, Bo Sun Pat St. Yangon
2-day procession ending
In honour of the Mother of God. Bo Sun Pat church and Nyaung-le-bin church in Bago division both old evening processions.

Shan State Day
Jan 17 – 19 3rd waxing day of Tabodwe

Location : Taunggyi, Keng-tung and Lashio. Shan State 3-day ceremony ending Dances of Shan ethnic minorities are performed.


The Great Footprints Season
Jan 2 – April 25th waxing day of Tabodwe

Location : Minbu, Magwe
The season is open for about 3 months Pilgrimange is only possible in the dry season 2 footprints are said to have been left by lord Buddha when he visited there.


Kyaik-Khauk Pagoda Festival
Jan 22 – Jan 30 8th waxing day of Tabodwe

Locatiion : Thanlyin, Yangon 9-day festival ending Maintaining the heritage of donating drinking water to all by descendants of the first donor families is amazing.


Mahamuni Ceremonies
Jan 28- 29 14th -15th waxing days of Tabodwe

Location : Mahamuni precinet.Mandalay
Glutinous rice delicacy contests held late on 14th waxing day. On the morning of 15th waxing day, incense burnt in large flames in a symbolic gesture of offering heat to the great image.


FEBRUARY -2015

Maw-Din Festival
Feb 13 – 27 1st waxing day of Tabaung

Location : Pagoda Point, Pathein 15-day festival ending Pilgrimage and recreation go together at this seashore location. Long and secluded beach stretch between Pagoda Point and Cape Negrais is haven for both beach lovers and beach bums alike.


Ko Gyi Kyaw Ceremony
Feb 15 -22 3rd waxing day of Tabaung

Location :Pakhan, Yezagyo
8-day ceremony ending
1st day -Ko Gyi Kyaw is coaxed and he ascends the throne
2nd day -nat figures are cleansed with water and regilded
3rd day -drum-thumping for the nat and cock-fighting
4th to 7th days -designated for pacifying Ko Gyi Kyaw
8th day -Re-enactment as told in legends


“Water Lady’ Event”
Feb 20-20 8th waxing day of Tabaung

Location : Zee-daw, Yinmabin , Sagaing
2-day ceremony ending
A large number of country folk from western Chindwin River are seen on their carts. The wonder is that middle of the village produces a large
volume of water during these days. It only dries up immediately after the ceremony. The pet parrot market is remarkable.
1st day -portrait of Water Lady is carried on an oxcart in and around the village
2nd day -Water Lady is pacified and worshipped


Inn-Daw-Gyi Festival
Feb 20 -27 8th waxing day of Tabaung

Location :Moe-Nyin, Kachin State
8-day festival ending
Kachin Buddhists sponsor the ceremony.
In summer, a footpath leading to the pagoda surfaces enabling pilgrims to walk to the pagoda. Usually a large volume of water surrounds the
pagoda.


Pyidaw-Byan Image Festival
Feb 21 -28 9th waxing day of Tabaung

Location :Zalun, Hinthada
8-day festival ending
First taken to Mumbai. India by colonialists but later regained. Famous as the”returnee image” Robe-weaving contest and bowl of alms offering are major highlights.


Kek-Ku Pagoda Festival
Feb 21 -28 9th waxing day of Tabaung

Location :Kek-Ku, Sesai, Shan State
8-day festival ending
Traditional Pa-o theatrical performances and singing contests are included.


Baw-Gyo Festival
Feb 27 – March 31st

Location : Thibaw . Shan State
5-day ceremony ending
A large volume of Shan and Bamar merchandise traded. There are Boat races on dote-hta-wa-di River.


Pindaya Cave Festival
Feb 28 – March 4th

Location : Pindaya. Shan State
5-day ceremony ending
Typical Taung-yo pagoda festival. Different ethnic minorities can also see.


Title-Decoration Ceremony
Feb 27 full-moon day of Tabaung

Location : Kaba-aye hillock
Members of The Religious Order and laymen are decorated with titles for their achievements.
A large-scale offering of provisions to monks by various communities in the evening.


Shwesayan Pagoda Festival
Feb 28 – Mar 7 1st waning day of Tabaung

Location : Pathein-Gyi, Mandalay
8-day festival ending
Merchandise from northern Shan State and other parts of the country exchanged at the pagoda bazaar. Toys, made of palm leaf, are a
specialty of the festival.


MARCH -2015

Armed Forces Day
Mar 27

Location : Nay Pyi Taw
It is to commemorate the day; when Burma Independence Army firstly went to war in 1947.
Speech given by Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services is followed by military parades.


Boe-Boe-Gyi Ceremony
Mar 8 -12 9th waning day of Tabaung

Location : Ah-lone , Monywa
5-day ceremony ending
1st day -attending a nat audience
2nd day -bonfire ceremony
3rd day -village leaders’ homage to the nat
4th day -pacifying the nat
5th day -offering food
Boe-boe-gyi is believed to have mastered high-level alchemical practices and to have expired to become a nat. On the eve of the ceremony, pilgrims throw leaf-tea packets at one another from racing oxcarts. It regarded as a pledge that one who hit must make a visit next year.


Thanaka-Grinding Event
Mar 23 9th waxing day of Tagu

Location : Sittwe, Rakhine State
A traditional event held on the eve of Water Festival.
In the early part of the night, young women grind thanaka barks and roots to a fine cream usually by using water on rounded stone slabs.
Young men play musical instruments and dance to support the event.


Image-Bathing Event
Mar 24 10th waxing day of Tagu

Location : Sittwe , Rakhine State
Buddha images are cleansed with aromatic thanaka water, made earlier by girls.


Popa Ceremony
Mar 27 13th waxing day of Tagu

Location : Poppa
During Thingyan, pilgrims from the country over pay respect to Popa nat(spirit) shrines.


Shwe-Maw-Daw Festival
March 27 – April 8th

Location : Bago
13-day ceremony ending
Theatrical artists perform on stage with full force to show their competitive edge over their counterparts and to win future performance contracts.


APRIL -2015

Water Festival
April 13 – April 16th

Location : Throughout the country
1st day eve
2nd day beginning day
3rd day peak day
4th day receding day
The festival held prior to Myanmar New Year to cleanse away evil deeds of the past year with water.
Youths go out for enjoyment while elders take retreat in monasteries and pagoda precincts to perform meritorious deeds.


Myanmar New Year Day
Apr 17

Location : throughout the country
Buddhists young and old alike, spend the day performing meritorious deeds such as releasing animals, offering to monks, paying homage
to elders, etc.


Shwe-Kyet-Yet Event
Apr 26 14th waxing day of Kason

Location : Mandalay
Full-dress, large-scale procession followed by water pouring on the sacred Bo tree, significantly, on the 14th waxing day of Kason,
a day before normal watering day.


Kason Day
Apr 27 full-moon day of Kason

Buddha’s birthday commemorate by pouring water onto the sacred Bo tree.


MAY -2015

Shite-Thaung Festival
May 2 – May 9th

Location : Mrauk-U, Rakhine State
8-day ceremony ending
Dummy boat races on land, real boat races and water splashing in Mrauk-U canal on full-moon day. Traditional wrestling at the foot
of the pagoda; finals held on full-moon day.


Guni Pagoda Ceremony
May 2 – 6 5th waning day of Kason

Location : Monywa , Sagaing
4-day festival ending
Famous lacquer ware from Kyaukkar is the specialty of the event.


Wicker Ball Ceremony
May 28 – June 28 1st waning day of Nayon

Location : Mahamuni precinet,
Mandalay 1-month festival ending Traditional wicker ball players from all over the country participate
in the month-long contest that has been going on for over 70 years. This is the best event to watch Myanmar Chin-lone game.


JULY-2015

Shinbin-Sagyo Ceremony
July 25-26 14th waxing day of Waso

Location : Sale, Magwe
2-day ceremony ending
The pagoda noted for Buddhist paintings and carvings that rated finest.
Another ceremony held on full-moon day of Thidingyut.


Waso Day
July 26 full-moon day of Waso

The day Buddha preached his first sermon commemorated.
Buddhist Code of Conduct confines Monks to the monastery during the 3-month long Buddhist Lent.


Martyr’s Day
July 19

Held on the day 9 state leaders assassinated 53 years ago.
Wreaths lay at the Marty’s Mausoleum; flags hosted half-mast throughout the country.


AUGUST -2015

Shwe-Kyun-bin Ceremony
Aug 11-13 1st waxing day of Wagaung

Location : Mingun, Mandalay 3-day ceremony ending Myanmar’s last barter market where natives trade by exchange of commodities.
Marine vessels, big and small, gather to pay respect whilst plying around on the Ayeyarwady. Spirit dance included.
1st day attending a nat audience 2nd day having a royal bath 3rd day cutting down htein tree.


Taung-Pyone Ceremony
August 24 – 29th

Location : Taungbyone, Mandalay
6-day ceremony ending
It held for worshipping two Taungbyone spiritual figures.
Major gathering spot for spiritual mediums.
Spirit dances are rampant.
1st day -attending a Nat audience
2nd day -having a royal bath
3rd day -ascending the throne
4th day -presenting roast rabbit
6th day -cutting down htein tree.


SEPTEMBER -2015

Yadana-Gu Ceremony
Sep 8 – Sep 12nd

Location : Amarapura, Mandalay
5-day ceremony ending It is known as Mother Taungbyone Festival. Most enjoyable festival because of the rowing boat trip to the site; Spirit dances are rampant.
1st day -attending a nat audience 2nd day -having a royal bath 3rd day -ascending the throne 4th day -daughter of Mahagiri reels on the ground in grief. 5th day -closing by cutting down htein tree.


Tooth Relic Procession
Sep 21 – 23 13th waxing day of Tawthalin

Locatiion : Paungde
3-day ceremony ending
The Tooth Relic mounted on an elephant, taken round the town on full-moon day in full-dress ceremony.
During 3 days of festival, it put on display for worshippers.
After the ceremony, the relic kept inside a heavily locked chamber for the rest of the year.


Boe-Min-Gaung Memorial Day
Sep 25 2nd waning day of Tawthalin

Location : Boe-min-gaung shrine, Popa
Boe-min-gaung remembered for his higher attainment in meditation practices. He said to have found the way out of the worldly sufferings.


OCTOBER -2015

Performing Arts Competitions
Oct 12 4th waxing day of Thidingyut

Location : Yangon
Approx. 15 days of competitions
Participants aged 5 and above take part in contests of singing, dancing, composing and playing traditional musical instruments.
Both professional and amateur classes of competition held at Yangon.
Date Subject to change.


Inle Phaung Daw Oo Festival
Oct 14 – Oct 31st

Location : Inle, Shan State
18-day festival ending Oct 26
Four Buddha images ceremoniously tugged clockwise around the lake on the royal barge by leg-rowing boats. They return home on
third waning day.
Leg-rowing boat races held throughout the event.


Mya-Tha-Lon Festival
Oct 18 – Nov 6 10th waxing day of Thidingyut

Location : Magwe
20-day festival ending Oct
Buddhist chanting early morning rice offering to 1700 monks and the lighting of 9000 candles are major activities.The scenic beauty
of the pagoda, situated on the riverbank, is dramatic.
Famous utensils made of iron sold at a large scale.


Kyauk-Taw-Gyi Festival
Oct 25 – Oct 31st

Location : Mandalay
4-day festival ending
The image cast out of single piece of alabaster in 1864 under the guidance of King Mindon.


Dummy Elephant Festival
Oct 27 – Oct 28th

Location : Kyauk-se
2-day festival ending
From 14th waxing day until the full-moon day, numerous life-size dummy elephants sing and dance to the accompaniment of music.


Thidingyut Festival of Lights
Oct 22 – 24 14th waxing day of Thidingyut

Location : throughout the country
3-day festival ending
To mark the day Lord Buddha came down from the Celestial Abode after spending 3 months of the Buddhist bent there Buddha’s return
remembered and commemorated throughout the country with colorful illuminations.


Kyaik-Hti-Yo (GOLDEN ROCK PAGODA FESTIVAL)
Oct 23 Full-moon day of Thidingyut

Location :Kyaikhto ,Mon State
Approx .9-month long season
The boulder standing on the edge of a peak in the highest
Mountain range said to be freely hanging over the cliff.
Famous as pilgrimage and holiday outing stop.


Umbrella Shaking Pagoda Festival
Oct 23 – 25 Full-moon day of Thidingyut

Location :Kyauk-pa-daung
3-day festival ending Oct 14
Famous for the annual shaking of the upper part of the
Pagoda with a real architectural wonder.


Light Float Festival
Oct 24 1st waning day of Thidinguyt

Location :Shwekyin. Bago
Dances by day and, on the night of the 1st waning day of Thidiguyt.
Light floats dedicated to Shin Upagutta put onto Shwekyin canal.


NOVEMBER -2015

Shwe-Zi-Gon Festival
Nov 19 – Dec 17th

Location : Nyaung-U
23-day festival ending
Candlelights and fireworks carried in procession before offering to the pagoda.


Balloon-Flying Festival
Nov 20 – Nov 26th

Location : Taunggyi, Shan State
6-day festival ending
Typical Pa-o festival
Hot-air balloons released day and night, competing over their beauty and the altitude they gain. Daytime flying meant for competition
of animal figures and nighttime is for beautiful fireworks.


Than-Bodde Ceremony
Nov 19 – 21 13th waxing day of Tazaunmon

Location : Monywa
3 day festival ending
The pagoda is famous for its late Myanmar era sculpture.


Robe-Weaving Contest
Nov 20 14th waxing day of Tazaunmon

Location : Shwedagon, Botataung, Kyaikkasan and elsewhere
On the 14th waxing day of Tazaunmon, groups of young women take part in competitions held on the platforms of the pagodas. The robe
is to be finished flawlessly overnight and offer at dawn to the images around the pagodas.


Pho-Win-Taung Ceremony
Nov 20 – 22 14th waxing day of Tazaunmon

Location : Pho-win-taung, Monywa
3-day festival ending
The one and only market where leaves, roots, fruits, harks, thorns, tubers, stems of any herbal value from the western wilderness of
Chindwin River are sold on a large scale.
Famous bronze utensils and articles for religious activities largely sold.


Tazaung-Daing Festival of Lights
Nov 21 Full-moon day of Tazaunmon

Having fine weather and clear sky, and having the first crop harvested. Myanmar celebrates the night with various kinds of illuminations.


Candle Light Event
Nov 21 Full-moon day of Tazaunmon

Location : Ko-dat-gyi. Yangon
On full-moon day, 9999 candles ceremoniously lit. At midnight, visitors served with mixed salad of maezali buds, believed to possess powerful,
magical and medicinal properties it eaten at this time.


Fire Stick Festival
Nov 21 Full-moon day of Tazaunmon

Location : Kalaw, Shan State
Long poles stuffed with fireworks ceremoniously carried to a pagoda on the outskirt of the town.
They planted near the pagoda and set off to burn for the whole night.


Kaung-Hmu-Daw Festival
Nov 26 – Nov 31st

Location : Sagaing
6-day festival ending
The best spot to watch Myanmar puppet as at Sutaungbyi pagoda festival in Monywa.
Pilgrimage and holiday outings on country oxcarts can see.


DECEMBER -2015

The Spectacled Image Festival
Dec 14 – 21 8th waxing day of Nadaw

Location : Shwedaung, Pyay
8-day festival ending
This is the only image that puts on glasses offered by a certain donor in colonial time.


Mt.Popa Festival with spirit dancing and shops
Dec 20 – 21 14th & 15th waxing day of Nadaw

Mt. Popa being considered most important Nat worshipping center, thousands of country folks and town people in their joyous, light-hearted
and merrymaking in this particular festival. Thousands of animals were sacrificed to the Nats during the festival however this practice has been stopped since Bagan period.Spirit possession and overall drunken ecstasy are part of the celebration.


Christmas
Dec 25

Christianity is the second largest religion in Myanmar after Buddhism.


JANUARY 2015

Kayin New Year
Jan 6 1st waxing day of Pyatho

Location : Pa-an and Arlain Ngarsint in Yangon
There are Speeches by Kayin elders followed by group dances.


Tripitaka Examinations
Jan 7 2nd waxing day of Pyatho

Location : Kaba-aye hillock, Yangon
Recitation of the 3 seats of Buddhist Scriptures are held for 24 days followed by written test for 5 days. Around 150 monks annually sit for
the exam.
The titles bestowed on the monks who pass the exam.


Bakri Idd Day

The Ministry of Religious Affairs announce the day just a few days ahead as suggested by Muslim clerics.
This is collective worshipping at the Religious Spot on lower Kyee-myin-daing Street on the day.
BROWN COLORED TITLE STANDS FOR MOST-SAUGHT-AFTER FESTIVALS IN MYANMAR.