CHIN LONE FESTIVAL, Mahamuni / Mandalay
May 31 – June 30
Chin Lone (Cane Ball) tournament held in Mandalay. It is used to held in Mahamuni Pagoda compound almost a month for every day and night. Cane ball players from all over the country come up to Mandalay to enjoy this festival.
We can enjoy to see several ways of playing Chin Lone and racing by either team or individual together with local / folk music played while entertaining the audience.
Pakokku Thiho Shin Pagoda Festival
June 15 – 30, 2016
Pakokku is an old traditional town on the western bank of the Ayeyawady River. This pagoda festival is the most important for all towns west of the Ayeyawady and products from the region, such as dried chili, homespun baskets and tobacco are sold every year at this huge country fair. The best thanakha trees, the bark of which is pounded to make the purely organic make-up cream used by many Myanmar women, grow in this area.
TAUNG BYONE NAT FESTIVAL, Taung Byone village near Mandalay
July 28 – Aug. 10, 2014
This festival is known as the major gathering spot for spiritual mediums. According to the legend, Byat Wi and Byat Ta, two Indian brothers, got extraordinary powers after they ate the body of a dead alchemist.
Byat Wi, the older brother, lost his supernatural power, after he walked under a clothesline on which women’s skirts used in childbed had been hung. He was captured and died after his loved ones offered him a quid of betel and a cup of water. Byat Ta was killed by King Anawrahta’s magical lance, after he was again late to bring the fresh flowers from Mt. Popa for the Royal Audience, and thereupon his wife Popa Medaw also died from broken heart.
15 years later, the two sons of Byat Ta and Popa Medaw, which were adopted by King Anawratha, forgot to bring one brick each to build the “Pagoda of Wishes”. King Anawratha soon found out, who was responsible for this omission and gave the order to gently hit them with a fillet stick.
As they were in the trap which the king’s son, Kyansittha, planned from beginning on, they were instead hardly hit with a bamboo stick and died. Hundreds of mediums (Nat-Kadaw) and thousands of pilgrims come once a year to Taung Byone, where the statues of the two brothers are placed in a shrine and there stands still the “Pagoda of Wishes” with the two missing stones. It is the most impressive Nat Festival in Myanmar. Offerings and dances, the inflow of merchants, the constant arrival of pilgrims and the intensive uses of loudspeakers continue day and night.
YADANA GU NAT FESTIVAL, Amapura, Mandalay
Aug. 12 – 24, 2014
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 Mt. Popa. Medaw, Mewanna (Mother of the two Lords) who came back from Taunbyon Festival, halted on her way back to Mt. Popa at the Yadanagu as her transit camp.
BO BO GYI NAT FESTIVAL, Taungthaman Inn, Mandalay
Sep. 01 – 13, 2014
Bo Bo Gyi is believed to have high level alchemical and to have expired to become a Nat. On the eve of ceremony pilgrims throw tealeaf packets at one another from racing exacts. It is regarded as a pledge that one who is hit must take a visit next year without fail.
PHAUNG DAW OO PAGODA FESTIVAL, Inle Lake
Sep. 24 – Oct. 11, 2014
Watch the procession of leg-rowed boats, which are ceremoniously tugging four Buddha statues situated on a royal barge clockwise around Inle Lake. Throughout the event leg-rowed boat races are being held and you will come across them during the excursion on the lake. Hundreds of other vessels travel in the entourage in a general festive atmosphere. Thousands of people from around the Shan State attend this most holy of all Shan celebrations.
INDEIN PAGODA FESTIVAL, Inle Lake
Sep. 24 – 27, 2014
Buddhist ceremony held at unique site of old shrine complex in Inle Lake.
DUMMY ELEPHANT FESTIVAL, Kyauk Se, Mandalay
Oct. 07 – 08, 2014
This unique and exotic elephant dance held at Kyaukse, a small town not far from Mandalay. A huge but light elephant figure is made with 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 circle three times at the foot of the hill to pay homage to the Shwethalyaung Pagoda. It is a dance that requires precise rhythm and timing in order for the elephant dancers to maintain uniformity inside the elephant figure. Numerous life-size paper dummy elephants sing and dance to the accompaniment of music.
THE THADINGYUT (FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS), Throughout Myanmar
Oct. 07 – 09, 2014
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.
BALLOON FESTIVAL, Taunggyi
Oct. 31 – Nov. 06, 2014
The fireworks are in the form of rockets. There is always hot balloons competition day and night. 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.
SHWEZIGON PAGODA FESTIVAL, Bagan
Oct. 30 – Nov. 21, 2014
At the Shwezigon Pagoda Festival there are evening entertainments such as Zats: (a variety of dances, songs, short and long plays), Anyeints (a performance of a few hours in which a number of “jokers” caricature current situations and or person strung together by a traditional dancer, popular movies shown in open air.
On full moon day there is a communal offering of food and various domestic articles to the monks from the nearby monasteries (ca. 600) lined up as in usual offerings.
KYAIKHTIYO PAGODA FESTIVAL, Golden Rock
Nov. 06, 2014
The boulder, standing on the edge of a peak in the highest mountain range, is said to be freely hanging over the cliff. The place is famous as a pilgrimage and holiday outing spot. On this particular full moon day number total 9,999 candles are ceremoniously lit at mid night.
ROBE WEAVING CONTEST, Throughout Myanmar
Nov. 06, 2014
The robe weaving ceremony is held on the eve of the day before full moon day in one night. This is a competition for the weaving skills between teams of women to complete special saffron-coloured robes, called “Ma Tho Thin Gan” from the evening onwards at dawn.
It is still done in the traditional way and lots of people enjoy watching the demonstrations. At dawn, the robes are offered to the great image of Lord Buddha and followed by the prize giving ceremony for the winners.
TAZAUGDINE LIGHT FESTIVAL, Throughout Myanmar
Nov. 05 – 07, 2014
Another festival of light held on the full moon day throughout the country. Home and streets are illuminated and Buddhists are provided robe and various requisites at Kathein (Ceremony of offering robes to monks). On this particular full moon day number total 9,999 candles are ceremoniously lit at mid night.
Visitors are served with mixed salad of maezali buds, believed to possess powerful, magical and medicinal properties if eaten at this time.
PHO-WIN-TAUNG FESTIVAL, Monywa
Nov. 05 – 06, 2014
Like other pagoda festivals, with the usual entertainment provided. Myanmar thanaka, sandalwood and woven textiles (cotton blankets and longyis mainly) can be bought at the various stalls around the pagoda area.
MT. POPA NAT SPIRIT FESTIVAL, Mt. Popa
Dec. 06, 2014
Mt. Popa being considered most important Nat worshipping center, thousands of country folks and town people in their joyous, light-hearted and merrymaking in this particular festival.
Thousands of animals were sacrificed to the Nats during the festival however this practice has been stopped since Bagan period. Spirit possession and overall drunken ecstasy are part of the celebration
ANANDA PAGODA FESTIVAL, Bagan
Dec. 28, 2014 – Jan. 06, 2015
There are evening entertainments such as Zats: a variety of dance, song, short and long plays, Anyeints: a performance of a few hours in which number of jokers caricature current situations and or person strung together by a traditional dancer, popular movies shown in open air.
It is also a popular sales fair where all kinds of goods, some of them are locally produced, are sold. The most interesting aspect of this festival is the caravan of bullock-carts in the pagoda compound, camp under the shady trees.