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7-9 November 2016 • London
12-15 September 2016
Palais des Congrès, Marrakech

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  Myanmar Seasonal Festivals

January (Nadaw / Pyatho)

Manaw Festival (Kachin State) : 26-27 January 12

Traditional Kachin Manaw Festival to celebrate the New Year. All the Kachin clans will congregate at Myitkyina to celebrate this event.

Ananda Pagoda Festival (Bagan - Mandalay Division) : 12 – 24 January 12

One of the most popular festivals in the country. Bowls of alms filled with crisp are offered to monks who all wait in a ling line. Pilgrimage and holiday outings on country bullock carts can be seen.

Naga New Year Festival (Sagaing Division) Lashie : 12 - 16 January 12

One of the most colorful ceremonies of the country. Different tribes of gather by the hundreds in their colorful costumes to perform ritual dances.

February (Pyartho / Dabodwei)

Kyaik Khauk Pagoda Festival (Yangon) : 11 - 18 February 12

The Kyaik Khauk Pagoda is located across the Bago River from Yangon. The Festival held each year around the full moon day of Tabodwe. Kyaik Khauk features like most major festival. Local villagers often travel to the festival by bullock cart, camping on the Pagoda platform.

Htamene Festival (Countrywide) : 17 – 18 February 12

Htamane festival is held between February and March, throughout the whole country. It is made of sticky rice and sesame seeds. One large pan requires 4 small baskets of sticky rice, 20 coconuts, one small basket each of peanut and sesame seeds, 4 kilo of oil, 0.32 kilo of ginger and some salt.
Making of Htamane is not very easy. First the sticky rice must be soaked over night. The next day, start frying the small pieces of coconuts and other ingredients. Then pour in the soaked sticky rice into the pan. Now, we need two strong men to do the stirring of the rice until it is cooked. After preparing Htamane, it is then offered to the Buddha and is given away for free to all the visitors to the pagodas.

Mahamuni Pagoda Festival (Mandalay Division) : 18 Feb -19 February 12

Falls on the full moon day of Thabodwe. This festival usually lasts for 2 days. Glutinous rice (which is a delicacy) contests are also held on the pagoda's platform. A variety of incense sticks are burnt for the Myanmar Buddha image on the full moon day. During this festival thousands of people from all over the country make the pilgrimage to the Mahamuni Pagoda. The temple is always the center of activities and during this festival it explodes with energy.


March (Dabodwei/Tabaung)

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival (Yangon Division) : 19 March 12

It is a traditional Buddhist pagoda festival and one of the most important pagoda festivals in the country.

Kakku Pagoda Festival (Shan State) : 17 - 19 March 12

Annually in March, on the full moon day of Tabaung (March) which is the last month of the Myanmar lunar calendar, Kakku Pagoda festival takes place. Normally the festival will begin two or three days in advance for this is not just a religious festival but also a social occasion. It is the time for all to have fun, exchange news and gossips, to trade. For the younger set it is the time to meet their friends from other villages or the boys to fall in love with the girls.
As it is, all the people of the region arrive by the thousands, dressed in their traditional costumes. Some come in bullock carts while others arrive by more modern conveyances, on the village tractor..
But the most interesting time to visit this place is to get there before dawn of the full moon day of Tabaung where the Pa O people in all their finery come with gaily decorated trays bearing morning food offerings.

Pindaya Shwe Oo Min Pagoda Festival (Pindaya) : 17 - 19 March 12

- Pindaya Shwe Oo Min cave Pagoda festival is held on and around full moon day of Tabaung as well. It starts seven days before the full moon day. During the festival time, thousands of devotees come from villages around the area to the cave. A kind of pagoda mall is set up at the foot of the hill under big shady Banyan trees to sell local products.


Full Moon Day of Tabaung (Countrywide) : 19 March 12

- Ceremonies at pagodas throughout the country


Mann Shwe Settaw Pagoda Festival (Magway Division) : 19 March – 04 April 12

Mann Shwe Sattaw Pagoda Festival is one of the most significant Pagoda festivals in Upper Myanmar. It is 36 miles from Magwe to the Mann Shwe Sattaw which is also well known as Mann footprint across Ayeyawaddy river bridge, Magwe.

April (Tabaung / Tagu)

Full Moon Day of Tagu (Countrywide) : 18 April 12

Shwe Maw Daw Pagoda Festival (Bago) : 11 - 23 April 12

Water Festival (Myanmar Thingyan) (Countrywide) : 13 – 16 April 12

The water festival represents the most popular, raucous and colorful celebration of the year for more than 120 million people who will abandon any thoughts of work and bring their nations to a standstill. People around the country gather together again and visits pagodas, offers and pay homage to the monks, play traditional games and celebrate with their joyous spirit.

Myanmar New Year Festival (Countrywide)           : 17 April 12

May (Tagu / Kason)

Kason Bo Tree Watering Festival (Countrywide) : 17 May 12

Shitethaung Pagoda festival (Mrauk U) : 17 May 12

June (Kason / Nayone)

Thihoshi Pagoda Festival (Pakokku) : 09 – 16 Jun 11

Pariyatti Sasana Examination

July (Waso / Wakhaung)

Chin Lone Festival (Mandalay) : 06 - 16 Jul 12

Full Moon Day of Waso (Countrywide) : 15 July 12

The day Buddha preached his first sermon is commemorated. Monks are confined to the monastery by Buddhist code of conduct during the 3-month long Buddhist lent.

August (Wakhaung / Tawthalin)

Taung Byone Festival-Nat Pwe (Mandalay Division)      : 07 -14 August 12

Mount Popa is a vast volcanic mountain that overwhelms the flat landscape. It is only about one hour drive from Bagan. Popa is located near Bagan and it has many legendary stories about the spirits (Nats) of today. This annual festival is known as Taung Byone festival, it is usually held during the month of August.
The Nats are believed to be super natural powerful beings, stated between the gods and the spiritual beings. The Myanmars still worship them vigorously, and believe that the Nats can bring luck and prosperity to the worshippers and can also bring danger to those who do not respect them. The word "Nat" is unclear. It may be derive from the Hindu Natha which means lord, savior or protector.

Shwe Kyun Pin Pagoda festival, Mingun (Mandalay) : 02 August – 22 August 12

Pwint Phyu, Fish feeding ceremony (near Magwe) : 14 August 12

Lawkanandar Pagoda festival (Bagan) : 31 Jul - 14 August 12

Bagan boat racing presentation : 06 August 12

Offering food, Bagan – (Bagan) : 07 August 12

Mya zadi Pagoda, making dolls, Offering food : 13 - 14 August 12

Yadana Gu festival, Amarapura (Mandalay) : 22 -28 August 12

Known as mother of Taungbyone festival. Most enjoyable because of the rowing boat trip to the site. The festival is held annually in honor of Popa. Medaw, Mewanna <mother of the two Lords> who came back from Taunbyon Festival, on her way back to Mt. Popa, she halted at the Yadanagu as her transit-camp.

September (Tawthalin / Thadingyut )

Manuhar Pagoda Festival : Bagan making dolls : 11- 12 September 12

Shwe kyetyet boat racing festival (Mandalay)  : 20 September 12

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival - Inle Lake – Shan state : 28 Sep - 15 October 12

- One of the famous principal shrines in Myanmar, this pagoda houses five small Buddha images. Once a year, in end Sept-early Oct., there is a pagoda festival during which the five Buddha images are rowed around the Lake in a colourful barge.
One of the famous principal shrines in Myanmar, this pagoda houses five small Buddha images, which are much revered by the lake-dwellers. Once a year, in late September - early October, there is a pagoda festival during which, four of the five Buddha images tour around the lake in a colorful.
The festival of Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is usually held during October. The festival takes about 18 days. It is the biggest occasion held in the Inle Lake¸ Shan State. The festival is held with great magnificence and pageantry. The holy Buddha's images are placed on a decorated royal barge and towed by leg-rowers around the lake. There are also Shan traditional boat races participated by leg-rowers. People from all the villages nearby come to pay homage to the Images.

October (Thadingyut / Tazaungmone)

Kyaukdawgyi Pagoda Festival        : 05 – 12 October 12

Full moon Day of Thadingyut : 12 October 12

Festival of Lights (Thadingyut) (Countrywide) : 11 - 13 October 12

To mark the end of the Buddhist Lent, and is also one of the most prominent festivals of the year. Pagodas, houses, public buildings, parks, and monuments are all illuminated and there are various kinds of activities for everyone to enjoy. Thadingyut is not only for joyous but also thanksgiving and paying homage to Buddhist monks, teachers, parents and elders, and asking pardon for whatever misdeeds might have committed during the year.

Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival (Mandalay Division) : 11 October 12

Dancing Elephant Festival is also another famous festival in Myanmar. It is held in Kyaukse, near Mandalay. It is a marvelous performance of two men together to dance in rhythm. A huge elephant figure is made from bamboo and paper. Men take their places inside the figure and dance around the town to the accompaniment of Dobat and Drums. The elephant dancers circles three times at the foot of the hill to pay homage to the Shwe Tha Lyaung Pagoda. It is a dance that requires precise rhythm and timing in order for the elephant dancers to maintain unity inside the elephant figure. People from far and near come to visit Kyaukse and watch the elephant dance.

Kyaikhtiyo Festival (Mon State) : 12 October 12

The famous legendary Pagoda on the Golden Rock about 160 Km from Yangon and 11 km of hiking from the base camp at Kyaikhto. Visitors can also go by car up to a point about a mile away from the Pagoda. This pagoda is situated on a rocky mountain 3615 ft above sea level. The Kyaikhtiyo pagoda is one of the most ancient and celebrated of all pagodas in Myanmar. It is situated in the vicinity of Kyaikhto township, Thaton district. The pagoda is said to have been built during the life-time of the Buddha over 2400 years ago.
The Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda Festival is a special festival of lights celebration. On the Full Moon Day of Thadingyut, locals offer the lighting of 9000 candles and 9000 flowers to the Biuddha. On the next morning, rice, sweets and other snacks are offered. The platform and passage of the pagoda are usually filled with visitors from all over the country. Tourists also find the golden rock pagoda magnificent. Thadingyut usually falls in October, depending on the lunar calendar. At such a time, the weather is cold up on the mountain.
During the festival time most of the local places and hotels around the pagoda are fully booked. Some people travel to the base of the mountain by car, and then hike up the mountain on foot. Some people climb the mountain by ferry buses. Some hike up with carriers.

Myathalon pagoda festival (Magwe) : 05 Oct – 03 November 12

Shweinnbein pagoda festival (Salay) : 11 - 12 October 12

November (Tazaungmone / Natdaw)

Full moon day of Tasaungmone (Country wide) : 10 November 12

Matho Thingan Festival (Yellow Robe Weaving) (Countrywide) : 10 November 12

This festival of Tazaungmon is an auspicious time for offering of yellow robes to the monks. The Buddha’s mother, reincarnated as a god in Tavatimsa, perceived from her heavenly abode that her son would soon be discarding, the royal robes and wearing a monk’s garments. She wanted to provide the yellow robes of the monk and she had only a night’s time. But she had it woven in a single night and offered to the Prince (Siddhata) by a celestial messenger. In commemoration of this event weaving competitions of yellow robes are held all over the country.
An offering of Kathein thingan (ceremony for offering of yellow robes) to the monks is usually a big affair in large cities of Myanmar. Offering ceremonies consist of a thousand and one gifts pooled by the whole town beside the prime gift of Yellow robes. The Kathein festivals account for the greatest significance in Tazaungmone.

Hot Air Balloon Festival (Taunggyi - Shan State) : 04 – 10 November 12

Taunggyi is the capital of the Southern Shan State and it lies 1,430 meters above the sea level and has a moderate climate. The most significant festival is the annual Tazaungdine Lighting Festival which is around October and November. Lu Ping festival commonly known as hot balloon festival celebrates by Pa O, one of the many ethnic groups in the region.
On the occasion people enjoy fun and merriment by holding firework-launching competitions. The firework is in the form of rockets. There is also hot balloons competitions on the day and night occasions. Day balloons are usually in the form of Pagodas, and animals such as elephant, dragon or ducks while the night balloons usually in the shape of rugby ball, huge elongated paper balls with small lighted multicolored paper lanterns hung around their sides and balloons would sting along fireworks and fire sticks which are set off mid-air fireworks.

Tazaungmone Festival (Countrywide) : 09 - 11 November 12

On the night of full moon day of Tazaungmone, 9,999 candles were lighted and offered to Koehtatkyi Pagoda in SanChaung Township, Yangon Division. On the full moon day of Tazaungmone, all the stars completely shown out and at midnight on that day, people usually eat vegetable curry and it is believed the bitter Maezali bud salad, you will be free from all diseases.Streaming from that belief, people usually prepare Maezali bud salads and share it with friends. This is one of the treasured habits of Myanmar.

Shwezigone pagoda festival,offering food (Bagan)    : 03 - 18 November 12

Thanboddhay pagoda festival (Monywa) : 05 - 10 November 12

Phowintaung festival (Monywa) : 08 - 11 November 12

Kaungmudaw pagoda festival (Sagaing) : 10 - 15 November 12

December (Nadaw / Pyartho)

Aloedawpyi pagoda festival, offering ceremony (Bagan)     : 03 - 18 December 12

Shwemyitman pagoda festival (Shwetaung)       : 03 - 10 December 12 : 10 December 12

Taybyone net (sit htwet festival) (Taybyone)

Minmahar Giri Nat ceremony (Popa)        : 10 December 12


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