Naga Festival is one of the rarest ceremonies in Myanmar. Held between January 14 to 16, the festival venue rotates from one Naga town to the other (Leshi, Lahe and Nanyun, Sagaing Region). More than 49 different clans dressed in their distinctive traditional clothes gather to welcome the New Year. The locals exchange kind wishes with families and friends, sing and dance to folk songs for two days.
2.Maha Muni Pagoda Festival
Month – February
Maha Muni Pagoda is one of the most famous pagoda in the country. Maha Muni Pagoda is located in Mandalay Division. During this festival, people crowd the area around Maha Muni pagoda to pay respects to the Maha Muni Buddha image. It is rumored that the majestic Maha Muni Buddha image was made in front of the Lord Buddha himself, making it a highly cherished religious landmark for the locals.
3.Alaungdawkathapa Pagoda Festival
The Alaungdaw Khathapa shrine is located in a National Park, one of the renowned ecotourism sites, of Yinmarbin Township, Sagaing Region. This pagoda is one of the most famous in Myanmar and the festival is usually celebrated in March every year. The visitor would crowd the National Cave and pagoda to light up candles and lights as a homage to the AlaungdawKathapa shrine.
4.Water Festival(Thingyan Festival)
Month - April
Thingyan Festival also known as the Water Festival is the celebration which marks Myanmar’s New Year. It usually falls in the second week of April and the main feature is water throwing or water spraying or dousing on each other. During the festival time there will be many trucks run around the street pick up people for enjoy in the festival. Attending the festival, you are able to enjoy with another highlight of Thingyan festival which is the free food distribution on the street including some hot coffee, fried noodles, and traditional Thingyan snacks.
5.Kasone Festival of Watering the Banyan Tree
Month – May
The Kason festival is believed to be one of the most important festivals in religious life of Myanmar people. . It falls on the Full moon day of Kason according to the Myanmar Calendar (or in early May of English calendar). All over the Myanmar, men and women of all ages go to pagodas to participate in the water pouring ceremony at the Maha-Bodhi tree. It is the holy Banyan tree under which the Buddha is said to have attained Enlightenment. . On this day, Myanmar Buddhism offer food to monks, listen to sermons and practice meditation. Some also gain merit by freeing fish and birds from captivity.
6.Thiho Shin Pagoda Festival
The Thiho Shin Pagoda festival is celebrated in the town of Pakokku, in Magwe Division. The festival consists of prayer rituals and a carnival-like fair. All the events are held around the Thiho Shin Pagoda in the town which is a beautiful temple with three standing golden Buddha statues which pilgrims pray to. The festival involves the collection of alms from the locals who wish to contribute donations to the monks and the temple.
7.Chin lone Festival
Month – July
Waso Chinlone Festival is the longest and oldest festival for Buddhists in Myanmar. It is held annually during in July. This festival involves competitions of the sport of chinlone (caneball in English) with a six-member team moving in a circle. One member at a time moves to perform in the middle of the group and the others support him and walk around him in a circle. . The festival is rooted in Myanmar's cultural history. Chinn is played in almost every Buddhist festival and many young people play pickup games at their leisure.
8.Taung Pyone Spirit Festival
Month – August
Taung Pyone, one of the most famous festivals of Myanmar, will be celebrated in Taung Pyone Gyi village of Mandalay Region’s Madaya Township. Thousands of people from all walks of life come to the festival due to their beliefs in spirits and to pray for their businesses, positions and health. . In this festival, tens and thousands of mediums and worshippers come together to worship Nats (spirits). Spirit medium allow themselves to be possessed by the spirits by dancing and singing ritualistic songs.
9.Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival
Month – September
People gather at Inle Lake in September to celebrate this festival. This is considered the largest Buddhist celebration in the Inle Lake, Shan. From one of the most famous shrines in Myanmar, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda at Inle Lake, five small sacred Buddha images are once a year are ceremonially rowed around the Lake in a colorful barge accompanied by many other boats with Inle leg rowers. Although there are five Buddha images at the pagoda, only four Buddha Images are carried on royal barge and conveyed around 14 villages on the Lake. During the festival, each village greets the four images with vivid fanfare, celebrating every moment of the one-night stopover of the barge.
10.Dancing Elephants Festival
Myanmar’s Elephants Festival is a colorful spectacle featuring dance team dressed as pachyderms. The Dancing Elephant Festival is usually held in October. People dance in elephant costumes to celebrate this festival. . Participants would then mimic the movements of an elephant and compete to perform the best elephant dance. The elephant costumes are all hand made using brightly colored fabric, bamboo and striking glitter. In this festival, locals also give offerings and donations to the pagoda and monks.
11.Shwezigon Pagoda Festival
Month - November
Every November in Nyaung U, thousands participate in this festival that features a country fair and a traditional religious ceremony. This festival is one of the most famous and liveliest pagoda festivals in Bagan. Like other pagoda festivals in Bagan and all around Myanmar, there are food stalls, shops selling local products, magic shows, puppet shows, theatrical shows, Zat pwe and Anyeints.
12.Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda Festival (Golden Rock)
Month – December
The Kyaikhtiyo pagoda is one of the most ancient and celebrated of all pagodas in Myanmar. The Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda Festival is celebrated in December and this festival is a special festival of lights celebration. During this festival, the pagoda is decorated with 9,000 candles and 9,000 flowers given by the locals. The candles light up the pagoda, offering a beautiful sight to the locals and tourists. The following morning of the festival involves the offering of rice, sweets and other items.
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