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Festival

Festival

The Myanmar people, made up of 135 ethnic races, enjoy festivities that are part of their culture…. pagoda festivals that are country fairs, novitiation ceremonies when boys enter the monastery with pomp and celebration, the water festival preceding the Myanmar New Year in April, spirit ceremonies that are more about fun than fear, classical dance performances and traditional marionettes plays. The people with their charm and simplicity, their hospitality and friendliness, their eagerness to help and share, are what make Myanmar wonderful.

Kachin Manaw Festival

At Myitkyina, to celebrate the New Year, good harvesting and unity of different clans there. Preparation period takes months for food and traditional totem poles and a huge drum plus a brass gong for the occasion. Dances can be seen with the tribes wearing the different costumes some decorating with peacock feathers or tiger fangs. Duration is 31 day usually in early January.

Ananda Pagoda Festival (Bagan)

Usually in middle of January where villagers from nearby would come in caravans or ox-carts to camp down near the Pagoda Premises. A thousand monks from nearby monasteries of a hundred villages would pass with alms bowls along to accept the offerings from the people. Duration is about two weeks.

Shwezigon Pagoda Festival (Bagan)

People from the vicinity come by bullock carts, cars or boats setting up temporary stalls. to sell kitchen utensils, indigenous medicine, cosmetics, medicinal herbs and foods. There will be movies, concerts plays and music shows carried out through out the night until dawn. Mostly at the end of October

Naga Festival (Sagaing Division)

Their New Year festival is commemorated in January at Layshi, near the Myanmar – India Border. One of the most exotic ceremonies where different tribes of Naga walk miles over mountains to meet and celebrate. They have different languages, customs, and costumes.

Kyaik Khauk Pagoda Festival

In February, in Thanlyin (Syriam) about one week ahead of the Full Moon Day camps and stalls are set up for the annually attending sellers of various commodities. People from the nearby villages would move to the Pagoda's Premises bringing all their household belongings to camp there. The Local people from Thanlyin would also climb up the Pagoda Hill to offer flowers and candle lights and roam about the stalls to buy what they need. A day before the full moon, there will be a weaving competition and offer the woven robe to the Buddha. People after coming with their own food spent the whole day and after offering the robe disperse in the evening. A typical village style occasion can be seen there. Half an Hour's Drive by car from Yangon proper.

Sticky Rice Festival

It is the traditional competition to offer the sticky rice to neighbors and friends. To celebrate the harvest, communities and organizations cook giant pans of sticky rice with ginger, coconut, peanuts and sesame in February.Bystanders would cheer with long drums, flutes and cymbals.

Chin National Day

Mostly celebrated at Hakha or Mindat where different dances were performed by different clans wearing their amazing costumes. Usually in the middle of February with only one day duration.

Mahamuni Pagoda Festival (Mandalay)

In February depending on the lunar calendar where devotees light bonfire to withstand the coldest season there. Sticky Rice is also prepared during the occasion which lasts for (2) days.

Chinese New Year

Celebrated at Chinatowns and at some specific places in Yangon, performing Dragon Dances and other entertainments. February as in other parts of the World.

Kekku Pagoda Festival (Shan State)

At Kekku Pagoda Complex near Inle Lake with more than 2,000 pagodas built many centuries ago. Pao and Danu tribes attended regularly by foot, Bullock Carts or by Boat. Mostly in March with a duration of 3 days.

Phaung Daw Oo Festival

Situated inside the Inlay Lakethe pagoda houses five Buddha Images on a pedestal. Thousands of people from communities around the lake and villages carry fruit and flowers on lacquer trays in their own boats and pay homage as the holy barge and entourage tours around the vicinity in September and/or October Very colorful festival when the four Buddha Statues out of five from Hpaung Daw Oo Pagoda are taken around the lake on a gilded Karaweik barge in the shape of a bird. The procession stops overnight at each of the twenty main villages where the images are welcomed with joyous celebrations. Teams rowing with their legs compete in regattas that are part of the festivities. Duration is 18 days.

Shin-pyu - Novitiation Ceremonies (Nation Wide)

Boys to have their heads shaven bald and to enter the Buddhist Order as novice monks in saffron yellow robes. Have to abide by the Rules and Principles, especially fasting after noon time and limited to liquid only until dawn next morning. The occasion can be elaborated with pomp and fanfare as their financial status allows, like displaying around novices on horse backs or even on elephants. Usually during the summer vacation of February , March and April.

Hot Air Balloon Festival

The daytime competitions are for balloons made in animal or bird shapes at Taunggyi in the November. At night fire balloons are decorated with strings of lanterns or designs made of lights and fire crackers attached on the tail. There are also some accompanying rocket fireworks Balloons are made of bamboo frames and papier mache, what the local call "Shan paper", made from the mulberry plant. The hot air is generated by burning rags under the opening. Balloons are judged for size, style, design and the time they remain aloft.

New Year for the Wa, Lishu & Lahu

On the Chinese New Year day in February at Kyaing Tong and quite similar to the Kachin Manaw Festival, celebrating with various dances.

Thingyan Water Festival

Welcoming Myanmar New Year for four days throughout the country during the second week of April. People throwing water at each other reveling in cars and with singing songs and dances in a symbolic gesture of cleansing oneself of sins from the old year. Decorative floats and water throwing pandals can be seen abundantly in major cities. An opportunity to get wet and feel the New Year spirit with the local people.

Mt Popa Nat Festival

Mt. Popa being considered most important Nat worshipping center, thousands of country folks and town people in their joy us, 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.

Elephant Dance Festival

With people dressed in life – size elephant costumes made of bamboo and paper, the festival is held at Kyaukse, near Mandalay. They used to dance around the town with the accompanying local music bands of local drums and cymbals. The elephant dancers circles three times at the foot of the Shwethalyaung Pagoda Hill. During the October Lighting Festival.

Full Moon Day Thadingyut

It was believed that Buddha descended from the highest abode of the NATS (celestial beings) in October with the legendary gold, sliver and ruby stairways, and colorful lanterns lining up the descent of the Buddha. To commemorate this, majority of houses and some streets celebrate the lighting festival and also pay homage to elders, parents and teachers.

Pindaya Cave Festival

Held around the full moon day of Tabaung in March. Devotees from nearby villages would flock to the cave. Typical with a pagoda festival, stalls were built temporarily to sell the local products.

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival is always held on full moon day of Tabaung, which usually falls in March. Like all other Pagoda festivals usually very lively and congested with numerous stalls for food and different commodities.

Pho Win Taung Festival

Held at the end of October or Early November. Myanmar thanaka, sandalwood and woven textiles are the most famous items available there.

Baw Gyo Pagoda Festival near Hsipaw / Shan State

Approximately during the 1st week of March displaying the four Buddha images to be worshipped by the public. Hill tribesmen can be seen coming to sell their products like tealeaves and gemstones.. The festival is most famous for the presence of various kinds of gambling.

Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda Festival

On the full moon day a total number of 9999 candles are ceremoniously lit at mid night. On the "Golden Rock Pagoda Terrace" where the rock is balanced on a larger boulder. In November mostly

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