Myanmar is a beautiful country with many interesting festivals in the year. Taking part in festivals, you will have the chance to know more about the people and culture of Myanmar. Don’t miss out the fascinating ones below when taking Burma Indochina tours.
The New Year Festival – Thingyan
Bringing the color of Buddhism, the Thingyan festival – the water festival held in Myanmar on New Year’s Day is a very important and significant event for the people in Myanmar.
The country of the golden pagoda (with over 90% of the Buddhists population), Myanmar now still retains what ancestor left intact. The festival occurs in the second week of April every year and lasts three or four days.
The festival is held throughout the country by splashing water on each other to wipe way bad things of the old year and welcome new year.
Previously, in the night before New Year, people prepared fragrant water made from different kinds of flowers or leaves then put in bowls or jars of water and placed in front of the house during the festival. Today, people no longer use fragrant water but people use the jet spray.
Shwedagon temple festival
Shwedagon is the greatest and most sacred temple in Myanmar where the annual Shwedagon festival is held. This festival is very significant and has a great impact on the spiritual life of the people here.
The festival lasts a half of month with many activities and traditional rituals. The festival in Yangon is truly a harmonious combination of Buddhism and the traditional folk culture of Myanmar.
The festival starts with a morning parade with thousands of participants in traditional costumes, barefooted around the stupas in the temple complex. The gongs at the corners of the Shwedagon Pagoda are simultaneously harmonized with the rich chanting of hundreds of monks, creating an extremely sacred spiritual space.
Outside the temple, the ground is the entertainment space with a number of cultural performances, including traditional puppet shows and traditional dancers. There is also a food court, a fair, a display room and a trade of handicrafts and foodstuffs from all over the country.
The Myanmar traditional music festival
Participating this festival, visitors can enjoy the Myanmar traditional music with traditional orchestras including a set of drums, gongs, bamboo bells, Hne, and flutes. A large drum set has twenty-one, while the small one has nine. The gong consists of nineteen pieces. Sometimes, they use quadrangular gongs instead of gong which include the rectangular frame and adds circle gongs. In folk music, Saung-gawk is one of Myanmar’s most distinctive herds. Saunggauk is shaped like a boat and is often cushioned for ancient songs.
The traditional dance of Myanmar is also very unique. The dance part of the country dates back to pre-Buddhist times when worship of the goddess was accompanied by dancing. The dance is very active and requires the performer to perform very hard movements like the circus.
Phaung Daw U festival
Phaung Daw U festival is one of the most important and popular festivals in Myanmar, especially in Shan province. This festival is held at the end of September or the start of October to worship the Buddha.
Visiting this festival, you can see colorful boats parading to villages around Inle Lake. The most prominent is the golden bird shaped barge representing Myanmar mythology which carries five small Buddha statue of famous Paung Daw U Temple.
The Phaung Daw U festival lasts for 18 days and ends in mid-October. This time is at the end of the rainy season so the weather is very cool and ideal for visitors as well as explore the incredibly interesting life of the people of Inle Lake.
The Thadingyut festival lasts three days on the full moon of the Thadingyut calendar (around mid-October) to commemorate the Buddha’s return to humanity after the end of the three months of his preaching.
During the festival, people decorate their houses and the streets with light. They carry out various activities to raise money for charities. Amateur bands or professional art troupes perform all the day.
Waso Full-moon festival
The festival begins on the full moon day of April in Myanmar (July), which takes place in 15 days. This is the sacred festival of Buddhism because this time is known as the first Buddha preaching the Dharma after enlightenment, also the beginning of the Buddhist fast. Monks can not go out of the monastery at night but still beg for alms during the rainy season. Therefore, during this festival, Buddhists offer the robes to monks for use in the rainy season and vegetarian months.
Htamane rice cooking festival
The festival is held on the full moon day of November in Myanmar (February). At the festival, people cook large rice balls with ginger, coconut, beans, sesame; then wrapped in banana leaves. The processing stages are quite sophisticated and elaborate, made by healthy men.
Sticky rice is cooked in monasteries or specialty shops, dedicated to the Buddha then shared with neighbors, relatives, and friends as a gift of the festival.
What a pity if you visit Myanmar without taking part in one of the festivals above. Join ad find out why they are so attractive. For more information about Indochina vacation packages, you can visit our website. Share this article if it’s useful for you. Have a nice trip!