Myanmar (Burma) is rich in culture, religion, and festival. Without a doubt, the beautiful country hosts many significantly colorful festivals every year. And if you can thoughtfully experience a Myanmar Tour in the festive time, you get an extra boost of joy and fun. The major religion in Myanmar is Theravada Buddhism, so it is certain that Buddhist festivals are the keys here. Besides, the spirit festivals help support the spiritual life of the local people. Are you going to tour to Burma? The Festivals in Myanmar Guide has just been written for you.

Buddhist Festivals

The pagoda festivals are the most common kind of Burmese festival. The Buddhism-related event is to show respect to the Buddha via offering, prayer, traditional singing, dancing, and colorful markets. The Buddhist Festivals run from month to month. Here, the tourists can find many Myanmar costume, household utensils, medicinal herbs, foods, etc. There is a series of Buddhist festivals throughout the country.

  • In December/January, Ananda Pagoda Festival is held in Bagan that is one of the largest and longest festivals of the year.
  • In January/February, Mahamuni Pagoda Festival is celebrated in Mandalay. At the same time, the Golden Hilltop Festival is also promoted in Thanlyin.
  • March/April marks the celebration of Shwemawdaw Pagoda Festival in Bargo.
  • Early May is the time for Kason Festival that stands for the day the Buddha attained Enlightenment.
  • June welcomes the tourists to join the Chinlon Festival in Mandalay.

Nat or Spirit Festivals

The Spirit Festival is when people show their homage to the animist spirits and meet the spiritual mediums for life advice.

Taungbyone Nat Festival in July/August held in Taungbyone close to Mandalay is the most eminent Nat Festival of the land. It is when the spirit mediums (nat kadaw) gather from all corners of Myanmar to do dancing performance and transfer advice from the spirit world to the living. In this spirit festival, King Anawrahta is the powerful spirit that must be placated by the followers with offerings. There is a tragic story behind the unjust death of the king, and the tourists can listen to it during the festive time.

Lunar New Year Festivals

Before the Myanmar New Year, the Lunar New Yes festivals are celebrated to boost the locals’ religious and cultural health.

Thingyan Water Festival is the most famous festival; it is a four-day celebration to welcome the Lunar New Year when people splash water on the others to pray for good luck and happiness. The first day of the festival often falls in the mid-April. During the festive length, the participants can expect to witness the Eight Percepts of Buddhism that teaches humankind avoid the morally ill behavior to pursue the ascetic life. It is also the time to make merit. The older villagers mostly go to the temples for prayers as well as alms giving.

Besides the three major groups of Burmese festivals, the beautiful country also hosts many other interesting festivals celebrated in the regional contexts. For instance, October marks the festivities of Thadingyut Festival (Festival of Lights), Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda Festival in the Shan state, and Elephant Dance Festival in Mandalay. 

Joyfully experience the remarkable festivals in Myanmar soon!