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    girl during lights festival

    The calendar of Myanmar has a detailed embroidery of festivity dates sewn around it. The Burmese people are known for their cheerful spirit and festive mood, which is why the colorful Myanmar festival celebrations are a bliss to look at, and even more wonderful to participate in.

    The dates for Myanmar festivals 2018 and the consecutive years are not fixed, as they are dependent on the Lunar calendar. Nevertheless, the festivity never drops to low. So, worry not and take a look at these 10 festivals that you must witness at least once in your life.

    10 ‘Myanmar Main Festivals’ You Should Definitely Attend in 2018-19

    While a lot of festivities take place in Myanmar throughout the year, here’s a list of the best celebrations that’ll compel you to be a part of them right away!

    1. Kachin Manaw Festival

    people on the ground during manaw festival

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    This famous festival in Myanmar is a joint festivity of the new year, battle victories, the tribes’ reunion, and the tradition. Manaw poles are erected and men & women dance around it. This festival is one of the most delightful and popular festivals of Myanmar.

    Where: Myitkyina and Putao in Kachin, Myanmar
    When: 4 January, 2019 – 11 January, 2019


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    2. Ananda Pagoda Festival

    offerings outside the pagoda

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    Suggested Read: Myanmar Temples: 10 Divine Sanctums In Mystic Landscapes

    The festival has been and will be one of the most widely celebrated ones of all the Myanmar festivals 2019. You can witness the Buddhist rituals and ceremonies of social gathering and also the pomp of Buddhism. It is also the best occasion to enjoy the local food at its best too.

    Where: Ananda Pagoda, Bagan, Mandalay Division
    When: 15 January, 2019 – 20 January, 2019

    3. Thingyan Water Festival

    rakhine girl throwing water

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    This Myanmar water festival marks the onset of a new Burmese year. People get on stages erected on the streets by Bamboos and drench each other in the water. People splash water through pipes from jeeps and trucks, and children enjoy with little water pistols. The monks and elderly are spared though. This festival symbolizes cleansing of the past sins, and captive birds & fishes are also freed during this Myanmar’s Thingyan Festival.

    Where: Kandawgyi Pat Lann and Kabaraye Roads, Yangon, Myanmar
    When: 13 April, 2019 – 16 April. 2019

    4. Shittaung Pagoda Festival

    women doing burmese dance

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    This festival is celebrated by the Rakhine people. You can witness and enjoy the traditional dances, boat rowing competitions, and boxing competitions during this Myanmar traditional festival. You can also learn about the pagoda and other monasteries.

    Where: Mrauk U town, Myanmar
    When: April

    5. Kason Festival

    kason festival

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    Kason festival is celebrated to announce the auspicious birth of Buddha. You can join in the processions followed by the locals and pour water on the sacred Bodhi tree or take river cruises around for watching the festivity and celebration. You can also pour scented water in the pagoda.

    Where: Nationwide
    When: May


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    6. Waso Chinlone Festival

    men during a sports game

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    This festival is a tribute to an ancient royal sports game. The game is quite similar to football, only the players aim in not letting the ball touch the ground. The locals take huge joy and pride in the waso game. This festival is among the most unique Myanmar festivals 2018, so make sure you do put this one on your list.

    Where: Mahamuni Pagoda, Mandalay
    When: July

    7. Taungbyone Nat Festival

    Taungbyone festival

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    All the people who belong to the lineage of the Natkdaws come together during this festival and pay homage by dancing and taking part in other celebrations. It is believed that the life’s struggles stay away with the onset of this festival as the ceremonies are considered to ward away the evil.

    Where: Taungbyone
    When: Before and during the full moon in August

    8. Thadingyut Festival of Lights

    girl during lights festival

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    Myanmar Thadingyut Festival of Lights commemorates with the onset of winter and symbolizes the return of Buddha to paradise from the mortal land. You can enjoy the sight of lightings everywhere or even create your own and offer it in one of the pagodas. The most famous highlight of this festival is the uncountable number of lanterns or lights that once can spot in the sky of Myanmar.

    Where: Nationwide
    When: October

    9. Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival

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    A giant elephant is made with the help of bamboo and paper, and two men get inside it and try to match the beats and the rhythm of the drums. The dance pays homage to the Shwe Tha Lyaung pagoda and aims at increasing the unity of the people.

    Where: Kyaukse near Mandalay
    When: October

    10. Taunggyi Balloon Festival

    hot air balloon in myanmar at night

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    The balloon festival is celebrated every year after the rainy season. Candle lit paper balloons cover the skies. These are believed to drive away all the evil spirits and invite positivity and happiness to the lands. The festival is cited as one of the most beautiful sights at night in Myanmar.

    Where: Nationwide
    When: October to November

    Frequently Asked Questions About Myanmar Festivals

    Q1. What is Water Festival in Myanmar?

    A. Thingyan Water Festival in Myanmar Burmese New Year Festival. It is a Buddhist festival that usually falls in the middle of April and is witnesses a 4 – 5 day celebration.

    Q2. What are the traditional festivals in Myanmar?

    A. Some of the traditional festivals in Myanmar are:

    • Thingyan Festival
    • Kachin Manaw Festival
    • Kyaikhtiyo Thadingyut Festival
    • Shittaung Pagoda Festival
    • Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival

    Myanmar is a preserver of the traditions and the Buddhist culture is an intricate part of the country. Attending these festivals will only add more colors to your Asian holiday, so make sure you tick off as many of these as possible!


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