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Festivals in Myanmar

The answer is so simple cause of we have so many festivals in every month in the year. Mostly are connected with religious affair. Not even religious we also have regional affairs, festivals in society. So let’s roll on those.

Pagodas Festival

Every month has, mean to Memorial Day of completely finish pagoda construction, can say birthday of Pagodas. All festivals depend on our Myanmar lunar calendar.

Ethnical Affairs

In Myanmar we have more than 100 of nationality and tribes who has their own festivals for New Year, harvest and national day affair that held on Christian calendar or their own calendar.

Spirituals (Nat) worship affair

This nat belief has been going spread among the believers that parallel with traditional Buddhist beliefs and almost all the Myanmar Buddhists also pray to these nats. All affairs also depend on our lunar calendar.
Some interesting are wedding, ordination, noviciation, earring ceremony, etc…

January ;(Pyartho)

During the month of Pyartho in Myanmar, Kyaik khauk pagoda festival at Thanlyin 10 Km away from yangon. Ananda pagoda festival at Bagan, Kachin manaw festival, Naga New Year festival,

February ;(Tabodwe)

U min kyaw Nat festival at Pakhan village near Pakukko Township, According to the legend he is governor of Pa khan but he is not good one for his govern area and he is always spent for drunk, cock fighting, gambling, and debauchery then killed by Bagan king.

Nowadays his worship ceremony is spread everywhere in Myanmar. The dancing is so actively and rhyme of music is like a zulu dream beat. So sure when you are at there you will be dance, if not may be your leg will be shake by beat.

March ;(Tabaung)

Most of pagodas birthday in March, Shwe dagon pagoda (Yangon) festival held in full moon day of Tabaung(March). Kekku pagoda (Taunggyi), Shwe Oomhin pagoda (Pindaya), everywhere of pagodas held in this month of March around Myanmar.

April ;(Tangu)

Everywhere of the world celebrated for New Year, no country play for poor old year. But we Myanmar are so special we held 3 or 4 days water festival for end of old year. That we believe we passed every day in a year, we have good days and bad days in old year, so if we have sin and bad karma in old year we do not want to carry to New Year that’s why we celebrate water festival to wash and clean for our dirty mind. The next day, all over the country celebrate water festival by throwing and pouring water on each other to symbolize the cleaning of misfortunes, bad lucks.

The nest day, end of water festival we start our New calendar, New Year. That day we Myanmar people spent at monasteries, pagodas doing with good deeds, take the special precepts, one traditional way is no one want to spend any cents. If spend we cannot save our income money.

Shwe mawdaw pagoda festival start on New Year of Myanmar at Bago (Pegu).

May ;(Kasone)

In Myanmar name of the month is Kasone it’s falls on May of the English calendar.
Kasone is the most importance for Buddhists of Myanmar which held Gottama Buddha was born (happy), attained the enlighten (respect), passed away (sorrow). Kasone (May) is hottest month in Myanmar, longer in day shorter at night everywhere get dried, no plant can’t stand for longer, all ponds, creeks and lakes face lowest level of water. 
Another pouring water festival held in Kasone (May), this time we do not pour only a tree name is Banyan(Bo tree) which support prince Siddhartha to Lord Buddha to get enlighten, Buddha also thanks to tree then stand in front of it and show respect eyes for 7 days, so we have to show our thanks to tree and have to help long alive. That’s why in the hottest season we pour water for Banyan tree long live. That kind of festival you can see compound of pagodas.

June ;(Nayone)

The Month of Nayone is the beginning of monsoon carries the rain clouds and start rain at lower part of Myanmar with greening baby grass. And open again for new school year. At that time you can see young students wear white shirt and green longyi (Neither gourmet). Nayone is the exam month for the monks and nuns.

July ;(Warso)

Warso full moon day also special religious time for Buddhists, who offer colorful flowers to Buddha. 
This is lent season, Myanmar Buddhist people do not marriage. Very closer to full moon day of Warso, every young lovers make fast decision to marriage and manage for their wedding ceremony. If some are not ready, please wait for next 3 months until full moon day of Thidingyut (October).

August; (Wargaung)

Taungbyone Nat brother festival; (Gay party) Taungbyone, near Mandalay held great gay festival. 
Story run like this, Bagan era, there king Anawrahtar want to set up pagoda at taungbyone. He sent two brothers to manage to pagoda construction. They are too young to control and they love play with local and most of the time they are away from pagoda construct, so pagoda cannot be finish on time and king got angry and said punish them but some bad royal stuffs took king’s command broadly and killed two brothers and they became spiritual being (Nat). At first nearby villagers sorrow for their friend two brothers and after that more love and sorrow make them to be a powerful spiritual being (Nat), now many many business man and local belief them to support for their wishes.

Interesting one is all inspirations person (Messengers) are gays and their duty is as like a connector with manhood and spiritual two brothers. That’s why you can see all gay are control at that ceremony.

September; (Tawtha lin)

At that time Manuhar pagoda festival held annually full moon day of tawtha lin in Bagan. 3 days for festival at Myinkabar village, Bagan. The dwellers treat rice cakes and pickled winter melon to all comers from near and far. Colourful paper Mache figures parade, Manuhar king figure, tiger, cows, elephants, and horses, even today stars of movie and music field.

October; (Thidinngyut)

Before and after day of October full moon day, there 3 days you can enjoy to see everywhere of Myanmar shining and glittering with the light of candles, oil lamps, paper lamps with candles light.

Legend say; Buddha purposely go to meet and say Dhamma philosophy to his mother who died 7 days after Buddha born, and become a celestial one. Buddha stays there celestial above for 3 months and end of day came down to human world, that day all people welcome to Buddha with candles light. This ceremony will be held from Buddha time to longer future.

So here the happiest ones are young couple who have the plan for their marriage, because of this is end of the lent season and can make wedding.

Phaung Taw Oo pagoda festival (INLE Lake)

This festival is not only for dwellers and Myanmar people also famous among the travelers, tourists, foreigners who love to come and visit to Myanmar, some already take part in that festival. Inle Lake held that annually of Mid October, and the trustees put Buddha images on the golden barge which towed by the boats of leg rowers and hundreds of boats follow the procession. Then travel around lake villages, people from 14 villages nearby come to pay homage to the Buddha Images, there you can see Shan traditional boat race by leg rowers. This is real splendid sight with dancing and fun fair.

This is the one and only unique of the world that one can see only Inle Lake, Myanmar.

November ;( Tanzaung mone )

There in this season we Myanmar have offering new robe ceremony (Kha htein) to monks. Full moon day of Tazaung mone is the last day that ceremony can be held. All monks have to stay a monastery for 3 months, end of lent season they prepare for their new school year and choose to go and where they want to learn Buddha literature at some monasteries. People lit the light at their houses again for this ceremony.

One funny event we have, that official steal day for young people in full moon day of Tazaung mone. They take movable items from any houses and set those items up at such improbable places as merry pranks on the first night after the full moon day. That for funny and some people are rude and bad for society, the young want to give them to get a lesson, so they choose them (Bad person) houses.

One our traditional belief that one kind of tree, Maezale in Myanmar pronounce, at that full moon day that trees’ herbs and buds posses special energy, people eat that whoever can get power and healthy. The same traditional at some western countries, on the day of 31 December there one parasite, name mistletoes also have powerful energy at the time of December 31.

Hot air balloon competition and show held in November full moon day at Pyin Oo lwin (Maymyo) and Taunggyi. November sky is always blue and clear and especially wind goes quiet slow, so good time for hot air balloons send up. Balloons are not same shape and design, different design of birds and elephants and some are common shape of balloon. Animal design balloons free set up to sky at day common shape of balloons for competition at night event. The people hung with lighted lanterns underneath and spewing fireworks are set up. When you have chance to go there and see those, surely you will get great happiness with our unique tradition at Taunggyi and Pyin Oo lwin.

In November, Golden rock (Kyaikhtee yoe ) pagoda festival

Golden rock perched on the tip of a boulder it is geological phenomena. Buddhist belief that one of Buddha relic hair enshrines at golden rock pagoda so this is one of major point to pilgrimage, nowadays many Thai people and Chinese go there and pay homage and more believe then us Myanmar people.
We have one folk tale is, a beautiful kayin girl who was selected by Myanmar king and then had to return disgraced back to her people as a victim of court jealousies. On the way back home she was killed by tiger. Her people get sorrow and they built and put her in shrine, near pagoda entrance.

December; (Nattaw)

Christmas the whole day , especially chin hill and Kachin area are the most interesting and more held than other area.

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