Skip to main content
highlight of myanmar

Festival in Myanmar



Manaw Festival

Where              : Myitkyina, Kachin State

When               : January 2016 (usually around first week)

Duration            : 1 day

Traditional Kachin Manaw Festival holds to celebrate the New Year. All the Kachin clans will congregate at Myitkyina to celebrate this event.


Where              : Lahe Township, Sagaing Division

When               : 14 January 2016 to 15 January 2016

Duration            : 2 days

One of the most colorful ceremonies of the country and different tribes of Naga gather by the hundreds in their colorful costumes to perform ritual dances.



Where              : Ananda Pagoda, Bagan

When               : One week preceding the full moon day of Pyatho (18 – 24 January 2016)

Duration            : 1 week

This is one of the most popular festivals in the country. Bowls of alms filled with crops are offered to monks who all wait in a long line. Pilgrimage and holiday outings on country bullock carts can be seen.




Where              : Mahamuni Precinct, Mandalay

When               : 14th – 15th waxing days of Tabodwe (22 - 23 February 2016)

Duration            : 2 days

Glutinous rice delicacy contests are held late on 14th Waxing day (22 Feb). On the morning of 15th Waxing day (23 Feb), increase is burnt in large flames in a symbolic gesture of offering heat to the great image.

Bonfire Ceremony

Where              : Pyay

When               : Full moon day of Tabodwe (23 February 2016)

Duration            : 1 day

White stems of nyan-yoe plants, which emit no smoke when lit, are burnt at four cardinal points on the platform of the pagoda in the early morning of 15th waxing day. Worshippers then proceed to Pho – U mountain-top resort, where Lord Buddha was said to have visited and made preordination of events.

Kyaik Khauk Pagoda Festival

Where              : Thanlyin (formerly Syriam)

When               : 8th Waxing day of Tabodwe ( 16 February 2016 )

The Kyaik Khauk Pagoda is located across the Bago River from Yangon. Kyaik Khauk features like most major festival. Local villagers often travel to the festival by bullock cart, camping on the Pagoda platform.


Maw-din Festival

Where              : Pagoda Point, Pathein

When               : 1st waxing day of Tabaung (9 - 23 March 2016)

Duration            : 15 days

Pilgrimage and recreation go together at this seashore location. Long and secluded beach stretch between Pagoda Point and Cape Negrais is haven both for beach lovers and beach bums alike.

Kakku Pagoda Festival

Where              : Kakku Pagoda precinct, Taunggyi Township

When               : 9th waxing day of Tabaung (17 - 24 March 2016)

Duration            : 8 days

Pa Oh people from all the surrounding villages come in their best costumes to pay homage to the pagoda. Some comes in bullock carts and make camps under the huge banyan trees.

Pindaya Pagoda Festival

Where              : Pindaya Township, Southern Shan State

When               : 10th waxing day of Tabaung (18 - 23 March 2016)

Duration            : 6 days

A traditional pagoda festival holds in honor of the Buddha statues inside the Pindaya Cave.

Nan-Pan Ceremony

Where              : Inle Lake, Shan State

Where              : 12th waxing day of Tabaung (20 - 24 March 2016)

Duration            : 5 days

The sight of numerous monks who come in boats and receive food offering is striking.

Tabaung Festival

Where              : Throughout the country

When               : Full moon day of Tabaung (23 March 2016)

Duration            : 1 day

Celebrate at the pagodas throughout the country.

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Where              : Yangon

When               : Fullmoon day of Tabaung (17 - 23 March 2016)

Duration            : 7 days

It is a traditional Buddhist pagoda festival and one of the most important pagoda festivals in the country.


Thingyan Festival

Where              : All over the country

When               : April 2016

Duration            : 4 days

Traditional Myanmar New Year Celebration and people pour water over each other in a symbolic gesture of cleansing oneself of sins from the old year. Youths go out for enjoyment while elders take retreat in monasteries and pagoda precincts to perform meritorious deeds. The most festive places are Mandalay & Yangon.

Myanmar New Year Day

Where              : All over the country

When               : April 2016

Duration            : 1 day

Celebrate all over the country to commemorate the Myanmar New Year. This is a deeply religious occasion observed mostly at pagodas and monasteries. Buddhists young and old alike, spend the day performing meritorious deeds such as releasing animals, offering to monks, paying homage to elders, etc.

Shwemawdaw Festival

Where              : Bago

When               : 8th waxing day Tagu (15 - 27 April 2016)

Duration            : 13 days

Theatrical artists perform on stage with full force to show their competitive edge over their counterparts and to win future performance contracts.

Elders’ Day Ceremony

Where              : Kabar Aye Hillock and elsewhere

When               : 13th waxing day of Tagu (20 April 2016)

Duration            : 1 day

An elderly man and an elderly woman from every township in Yangon city areas are invited to Kaba Aye Pagoda Hillock to be presented with various articles and are shampooed and nail-cut as a symbolic gesture of paying respect.


Popa Ceremony

Where              : Popa

When               : 3rd waxing day of Kason (9 May 2016)

Duration            : 1 day

During Thingyan, pilgrims from the country over pay respect to Popa nat shrines.

Shwe-Kyet-Yet Event

Where              : Mandalay

When               : 14th waxing day of Kason (20 May 2016)

Duration            : 1 day

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 Fullmoon Day

Where              : All over the country

When               : Fullmoon day of Kason (21 May 2016)

Duration            : 1 day

As Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment under the Bo Tree, Buddhists flock to pour water on this sacred tree to gain merit. Seen at most prominent pagoda and monastery precincts all over the country on the Fullmoon day of Kason (May).

Shite-thaung Festival

Where              : Mrauk U, Rakhine State

When               : Full moon day of Kason (21 – 28 May 2016)

Duration            : 8 days

Dummy boat races on land, real boat races and water splashing hold in Mrauk-U canal on full-moon day. Traditional wrestling at the foot of the Pagoda: finals hold on full-moon day.


Pakokku Thiho Shin Pagoda Festival

Where              : Pakokku, magway Division

When               : 8th waxing day to 10th waning day of Nayon (13 – 30 June 2016)

The Thiho Shin Buddha Image is one of the most revered in upper Myanmar. A typical Myanmar Buddhist Festival.


Waso full moon festival

Where              : All over the country in July

When               : Full moon day of Waso (31 July 2015)

Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment and preached his first Sermon, the Dhammasekya, to the five disciples on the Fullmoon day of Waso (August). It is also the first day of the Buddhist Lent during which the monks are prohibited to travel and sleep outside of their monasteries. Religious ceremonies are held at monasteries to offer holy robes to the monks.

Shwe Kyun Pin Nat Pwe

Where              : Mingun, Mandalay

When               : 1st waxing day of Wagaung (16 - 18 August 2015)

Duration            : 3 days

It has the 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 Ayeyarwaddy. Spirit dances included.

1st day             - attending a nat audience

2nd day             - having a royal bath

3rd day             - cutting down htein tree


Taungbyone Nat Festival

Where              : At Taungbyone village near Mandalay

When               : 10th waxing day of Wagaung (25 - 30 August 2015)

Duration            : 6 days

The most famous of the Nat(super natural beings that reward believers) festivals in Myanmar. This event is visited by all those who worship Nat, especially the traders and merchants who want help for more profits! 6days ceremony ending Sep 1 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

Yadana Gu Nat festival

Where              : Ratanagu Pagoda, Amarapura Township, Mandalay

When               : 10th waning day of Wagaung (9 – 13 September 2015)

Duration            : 5 days

This is a festival to honour the mother of the two Nat brothers of Taungbyone and known as mother of Taungbyone festival. It is the most enjoyable because of the rowing boat trip to the site. The festival is held annually in honor of Popa Medaw, Mewanna who came back from Taunbyon Festival, on her way back to Mt. Popa, she halted at the Yadanagu as her transit camp.

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


Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

Where              : Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe Township, Southern Shan State

When               : 1st Waxing day of the Thidingyut (14 - 31 October 2015)

Duration            : 18 days

Very colorful festival when the 4 Buddhas Statues (out of 5) from Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda are taken around the lake on a glided Karaweik royal barge. Leg-rowing boat races are held throughout the event.


Elephant Dance Festival

Where              : Kyaukse, Mandaly Division

When               : 14th  waxing day of Thidingyut (27 - 28 October 2015)

Duration            : 2 days

Papier-mâché elephants carried around the town towards the pagoda on the Kyaukse Hill. A dance competition features these elephants. Numerous life-size dummy elephants sing and dance to the accompaniment of music.

Kyauk-taw-gyi Festival

Where              : Mandalay

When               : 14th waxing day of Thidingyut (27 - 30 October 2015)

Duration            : 4 days

The image was cast out of a single piece of alabaster in 1864 under the guidance of King Mindon.

The Thadingyut or Festival of Lights

Where         : Throughtout Myanmar

When          : 14th waxing day of Tindingyut (27 - 29 October 2015)

Duration       : 3 days

To mark the end of the Buddhist Lent, and is also one of the most prominent festivals of the year. Pagodas, houses, public buildings, parks, and monuments are all illuminated and there are various kinds of activities for everyone to enjoy. Thadingyut is not only for joyous but also thanksgiving and paying homage to Buddhist monks, teachers, parents and elders, and asking pardon for whatever misdeeds might have committed during the year.

Kyaikhtiyo Season

Where              : Kyaikhto, Mon State

When               : Full-moon day of Tindingyut (28 October 2015)

Duration            : Approx : 9 months long season.

The boulder standing on the edge of a peak in the highest mountain rage, is said to be freely hanging over the cliff. It is famous for pilgrimage and holiday outing spot.

Shwezingon Festival


Hot Air Balloons Festival

Where              : Taunggyi (Shan State)

Where              : 10th waxing day of Tazaungmon (21 – 26 November 2015)

Duration            : 6 days

Traditionally it is to pay homage to the Suslamuni Pagoda in the abode of the Celestial Beings by sending up lighted Hot-air Ballons. Now this traditional is combined with a competition to send up the most elaborate and beautiful balloons of every shape and size. Hot-air balloons are released day and night, competing over their beauty and the altitude they again. Day-time flying is meant for competition of animal figures and night–time is for beautiful fireworks.

Lights Festival and Robe–weaving Contest

Where              : Shwedagon, Botataung, Kyaikkasan and elsewhere

When               : 14th waxing day of Tazaungmon (25 November 2015)

Duration            : 1 day

On the 14th waxing day of Tazaungmon, groups of young women take part in competitions held on the platforms of the pagodas. The robe is to be vanished flawlessly overnight and offered at dawn to the images around the pagodas.

Kahtein Robe Offering Ceremony

Where              : Throughout Myanmar

When               : Full–moon day of Tazaungmon (26 November 2015)

Duration            : 1 day

Holy robes are offered to the monks at the monasteries. This offering of robes enable the monks to acquire new robes in place of the old ones that were soiled during the monsoon season.

Parade of Lights

Where              : Taunggyi

When               : Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon (26 November 2015)

Duration            : 1 day

The people of Taunggyi and its environs march through the town with decorated floats and lighted candles to the Sulamuni Pagoda at the edge of the town.

Tazaung–daing Festival of Lights

Where              : Taunggyi & throughout the country

When               : Fullmoon night of Tazaungmon (26 November 2015)

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

Candle Light Event

Where              : Ko–dad–gyi Pagoda in Yangon

When               : Full-moon night of Tazaungmon (26 November 2015)

Duration            : 1 day

On full–moon day, 9999 candles are ceremoniously lit. At midnight, visitors are served with mixed salad of maezali buds, believed to possess powerful, magical and medicinal properties if eaten at this time.

Kaung Hmu Daw pagoda Festival

Where              : Sagaing

When               : Full-moon day of Tazaungmon (26 November 2015 to 1 December 2015)

Duration            : 6 days

The best spot to watch Myanmar puppet as at Sutaungbyi pagoda festival in Monywa. Pilgrimage and holiday outings on country oxcarts can be seen.

The Spectacles Image Festival

Where              : Shwedaung, Pyay

When               : 8th waxing day of Nadaw (19 - 26 December 2015)

Duration            : 8 days

This is the only image that puts on glasses offered by a cartain donor in colonial time.


Kayin New Year Festival

Kayin New Year day is a National Public Holiday in Myanmar. Traditional Kayin costume was worn by most of the celebrants at the events. Many young and old Kayins wear their traditional colourful dresses and go around the city. visit relatives and enjoy the festival. In Hpa An _the capital city of Kayin State, dance competitions are held every year.