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 bliss to look at, and even more wonderful to participate in.
The dates for Myanmar festivals 2020 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 13 festivals that you must witness at least once in your life.
16 Amazing Myanmar Festivals
The several Myanmar celebrations are meant as mark of culture and some as the abode of following old legends and are purely for entertainment. While a lot of those 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!
- Kachin Manaw Festival: 9th – 10th January, 2020
- Ananda Pagoda Festival: 4th – 9th January 2020
- Naga New Year Festival: 13th – 15th January 2020
- Golden Hilltop festival: 3rd – 9th February 2020
- Thingyan Water Festival: 13th – 16th April 2020
- Shittaung Pagoda Festival: April
- Kason Festival: May
- Waso Chinlone Festival: July
- Taungbyone Nat Festival: 26th Aug – 2nd Sep 2020
- Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival: 17th October 2020
- Thadingyut Festival Of Lights: 30th Oct – 1st Nov 2020
- Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival: 30th Oct – 1st Nov 2020
- Taunggyi Balloon Festival: 23rd – 29th Nov 2020
- Bodhi Tree Watering Festival: May
- Tipitaka Festival: June
- Regatta Festival: September
1. Kachin Manaw Festival
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. If you visit Myanmar in January then do attend this festival.
Where: Myitkyina and Putao in Kachin, Myanmar
When: 9th – 10th January, 2020
2. Ananda Pagoda Festival
The festival has been and will be one of the most widely celebrated ones of all the Myanmar festivals 2020. 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. So, be a part of the festivals of Myanmar to know of their culture and relish the local cuisines.
Where: Ananda Pagoda, Bagan, Mandalay Division
When: 4th – 9th January 2020
3. Naga New Year Festival
Naga New Year is one of the most famous festivals in Myanmar and the people of Kham-Ti village celebrate it in a grand way. The opening ceremony of this festival will be held on 13th January 2020 and you can attend the festival in the village. Competitions and traditional sports are organized and the Naga subtribes come together and celebrate the New Year. Colorful costumes, grilled meat and rice, wine and ancient tribal dances are the main highlights of this festival.
When: 13th – 15th January 2020
Where: Kham-Ti village
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4. Golden Hilltop festival
There are a lot of festivals held at different pagodas but one of the most famous festivals in Myanmar is the Golden Hilltop festival. Held at the Kyaik Khauk Pagoda, Golden Hilltop Festival is a fair kind of setup where you can buy local produce, pottery items, ceramics, furniture, and bamboo mats. In the evening stage shows are organized and the locals from the surrounding villages attend this festival.
When: 3rd – 9th February 2020
Where: Kyaik Khauk Pagoda
5. Thingyan Water Festival
This water festival in Myanmar 2020 is the most important amidst the Myanmar water festivals as it 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 Thingyan Festival in Myamar.
Where: Kandawgyi Pat Lann and Kabaraye Roads, Yangon, Myanmar
When: 13th – 16th April 2020
6. Shittaung Pagoda Festival
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. If you plan a trip in April, then be a part of the Shittaung Pagoda Festival, one of the most amazing Myanmar festivals in 2020.
Where: Mrauk U town, Myanmar
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7. Kason Festival
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. This is one of the most exciting festivals of Myanmar.
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8. Waso Chinlone Festival
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 was game. This festival is among the most unique Myanmar festivals 2020, so make sure you do put this one on your list. Enjoy the ancient customs of the place!
Where: Mahamuni Pagoda, Mandalay
9. Taungbyone Nat Festival
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 life’s struggles stay away with the onset of this festival as the ceremonies are considered to ward away the evil. Don’t you want to witness such an auspicious celebration?
When: 26th Aug – 2nd Sep 2020
10. Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival
Another one of the Myanmar festivals 2020 that you can’t miss out on your vacation is Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival. Celebrated at the Inle Lake, this festival is dedicated to Lord Buddha. A parade of the pictures of Lord Buddha from the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is organized in the lake and the boats are decorated. The boat is stopped at every village so that the locals can take a look at the parade and pay homage. Traditional dances and boat races are also organized and are the best part of this festival.
When: 17th October 2020
Where: Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda
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11. Thadingyut Festival Of Lights
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 Thadingyut Festival in Myanamar is the uncountable number of lanterns or lights that once can spot in the sky.
When: 30th Oct – 1st Nov 2020
12. Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival
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. Do not miss such exciting sights and have a great time being a part of this amazing festival amongst the other Myanmar festivals in 2020.
Where: Kyaukse near Mandalay
When: 30th Oct – 1st Nov 2020
13. Taunggyi Balloon Festival
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. Plan ahead your trip during the fall to the land of the Pagodas. Just being a part of this festival is one of the top things to do in Myanmar.
When: 23rd – 29th Nov 2020
14. Bodhi Tree Watering Festival
It is a popular belief that Lord Buddha gained enlightenment while resting under a Bodhi tree. To mark that auspicious event, the Bodhi Tree Watering Festival is celebrated. It is one of the few Myanmar festivals that takes place in temples and pagodas throughout the country. The monks and devotees of Lord Buddha water the highly sacred and precious tree as part of a merit-making ritual. To complete their offering, they make several rounds around religious sites to water.
Where: Pagodas and temples throughout Myanmar
When: On the occasion of full moon in May
15. Tipitaka Festival
This is one of those festivals in Myanmar dedicated solely to Lord Buddha. As a major Buddhist country, spiritual life is very important in the country. When the monsoon is underway, the monks sit for their Tipitaka examinations. The tests are designed to provide motivation to the spiritual upliftment of Lord Buddha and one that involved recitation and written tests. The local people help the monks through charity and donations.
Where: Monasteries across Myanmar
16. Regatta Festival
This is one of the oldest Myanmar festivals celebrated in order to celebrate the auspicious naval power of the kings. The Kandawgyi Lake in Burma is the hotbed for the festival where locals use traditional boats to row and win races. The event is very popular in Myanmar as the opening and closing ceremonies are simply grand featuring the traditional royal barges and war boats. The festival area has shops that sell some of the best Burmese food.
Where: Kandawgyi Lake, Burma
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! Also, do share this amazing list of Myanmar festivals 2020 with your folks!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Myanmar Festivals
Q. What is the 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.
A. Some of the traditional festivals in Myanmar are:
1. Thingyan Festival
2. Kachin Manaw Festival
3. Kyaikhtiyo Thadingyut Festival
4. Shittaung Pagoda Festival
5. Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival
A. There is no fixed number of the exciting festivals that are celebrated in Myanmar.
A. The culture of Myanmar is majorly influenced by Buddhism.
A. There are a lot of holidays that Myanmar celebrates and the best ones are mentioned below!
1) Independence Day
2) Karen New Year
3) Full Moon Day of Tabaung
A. Yein is the national dance of Myanmar.
A. Myanmar is famous for local beer, tea shops, archeological sites, and stupas.
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