Local Seasonal Festivals

Local Seasonal Festivals

 

January:

Annual Dhamma Festival

Once every year, the Kan Gyi Monastery in Nyaung Shwe will share the principles of Buddhism to the people. They celebrate this special day by doing good to everyone.

When

: 4 days before the Full Moon Day

Duration

: 1 day

Where

: Nyaung Shwe

Rice Offering Festival

The Rice Offering Festival is a popular festival that is held regularly in Khaung Daing Village to offer cooked rice to the monks during the morning of the Full Moon Day.

When

: On the Full Moon Day

Duration

: 1 day

Where

: Khaung Daing

 

February:

Rice Offering Festival at Khaung Daing Hot Spring Pagoda

On the Full Moon Day, locals will come throng the Khaung Daing Pagoda to offer uncooked rice to the monks.

When

: On the Full Moon Day

Duration

: 1 day

Where

: Khuang Daing Hot Spring Pagoda

Htamane Festival

Htamane is a traditional local snack that is made mainly from sticky rice, coconut, and peanut. This is the only month when the locals make this snack and offer it to the monasteries and the surrounding neighbourhoods. Competitions are also held, where groups of 5-6 participants compete to make the best Htamane. This festival celebrates the unity and teamwork values which the locals are renowned for.

When

: The whole month

Duration

: 1 day

Where

: Nationwide

 

March:

Pindaya Pagoda Festival

This festival starts three days before the Full Moon Day. During this festival, people living around Shan State will visit the Pindaya Cave to worship and make offerings to Buddha.

When

: 3 days before the Full Moon Day

Duration

: 5 days

Where

: Pindaya Cave

Kekku Pagoda Festival

Similar to Pindaya Cave, the Kekku Pagoda is also a hotspot for locals during this month. Here, the people will worship and give their offerings to Buddha.

When

: On the Full Moon Day

Duration

: 1 day

Where

: Kekku Pagoda

 

April:

Water Festival

To celebrate the Myanmar New Year, the locals dedicate their offerings to Buddha in the morning. Then, they will march down the road and splash water at one another. This is the merriest time of the year in Myanmar, simply because both the locals and the tourists will engage in plenty of water-splashing fun. 

When

: Subject to the Myanmar calendar

Duration

: 4 days

Where

: Nationwide

Annual Dhamma Festival

Once every year, the Kan Gyi Monastery in Nyaung Shwe will share the principles of Buddhism to the people. They celebrate this special day by doing good to everyone

When

: 1 day after the Dark Moon Day

Duration

: 1 day

Where

: Nyaung Shwe

 

May:

Yadanar Mann Aung Kason

The Yadanar Mann Aung Kason is a pre-celebration of the Kason Bayan Tree Watering, which happens four days before the Full Moon Day. This is when the ladies from the town carry offerings and donations along the streets while the men perform traditional music.

When

: 4 days before the Full Moon Day

Duration

: 4 days

Where

: Nyaung Shwe

Kason Bayan Tree Watering

This festival celebrates Buddha’s birthday and it is held all over Myanmar. During the celebrations, the locals pour water onto the Bayan Tree because they believe that Buddha was born under the Bayan Tree.

When

: On the Full Moon Day

Duration

: 1 day

Where

: Nyaung Shwe

 

June:

Examination Period for the Monks

During this period, the monks and novices undergo their oral and written exams by reciting Buddhist scriptures. This is also the time when sellers from the whole Myanmar will come to the Nyaung Shwe Bazaar to sell their goods.

When

: Subject to the Myanmar calendar

Duration

: 9 days

Where

: Nyaung Shwe

 

July:

Buddha Lent Time

According to local belief, there was a time when Buddha went to heaven for 3 months to share his knowledge on achieving Nirvana. Therefore, the locals commemorate that important event by going to the monasteries and pagodas to pray and make their offerings to Buddha. During these 3 months, some locals abstain from eating meat and hosting wedding ceremonies.

When

: July – September

Duration

: 3 months

Where

: Nationwide

 

August:

Buddha Lent Time

According to local belief, there was a time when Buddha went to heaven for 3 months to share his knowledge on achieving Nirvana. Therefore, the locals commemorate that important event by going to the monasteries and pagodas to pray and make their offerings to Buddha. During these 3 months, some locals abstain from eating meat and hosting wedding ceremonies.

When

: July – September

Duration

: 3 months

Where

: Nationwide

Lottery Donation for Monks

During this festival, each household will invite selected monks and novices to have a meal in their home. The reason behind the peculiar name is because the selection of monks is random.

When

: Subject to the Myanmar calendar

Duration

: 8 days

Where

: Nyaung Shwe

 

September and October:

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

This is a major festival for the Innthar people because they need to transport the four Buddha images from the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda to the villages with a special barge. During this time, everyone from the villages will gather to celebrate and worship the Buddha images. The locals offer rice and cakes to the images in the morning, and candles, water, and flowers in the evening.

When

: End of September and early October

Duration

: 18 days

Where

: Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

Boat Racing

As part of the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival, the locals will participate in an inter-village boat-racing tournament. The boats can accommodate up to 100 people, and each participant is required to paddle the boats using only their legs.

When

: End of September and early October

Duration

: 18 days

Where

: Inle Region

 

October:

Fire Balloon Festival

The Fire Balloon Festival is one of the most famous festivals in Shan State. During the celebration, the locals will build their own fire balloons and then compete with the other quarters. At the Sular Muni Pagoda, there will also be a competition for weaving Buddha’s Robe. As this festival falls on the start of winter, the locals offer robes and pray to Buddha by sending the fire balloons to the sky.

When

: Depends on Myanmar calendar

Duration

: 1 day

Where

: Taunggyi

 

November:

Rice Offering Ceremony

This is when the locals will offer cooked rice to the monks at the stupa complex. This event is held annually at Taung Tol.

When

: 1 day after the Full Moon Day

Duration

: 1 day

Where

: Taung To

 

December:

Pounded Black Sticky Rice

This festival is celebrated at the eastern part of Nyaung Shwe. Most local households will make pounded black sticky rice. The locals will then offer the sticky rice to the monasteries as well as the neighbourhood.

When

: On the Full Moon Day

Duration

: 1 day

Where

: Nyaung Shwe