Kason Watering Festival – Buddha Day
As the most important day in Buddhist world, this day is taken place in the time that all ponds, lakes and creeks decrease to its lowest level. Kason, the second month of Burmese calendar (usually in May), is deemed as the hottest month in the hot season. The Burmese celebrate this day by watering the Maha-Bodhi tree at various Myanmar pagodas. Maha-Bodhi is the sacred banyan tree which Gotama Buddha sat under when he attained enlightenment.
As Kason is the hottest month, the earth is really dry. To show respect to Gotama Buddha, people pour water on the foot of Maha-Bodhi tree to make sure it does not die of drought during hot summer. This ceremony has become an important part of Burmese culture on every full-moon day of Kason. Buddhists will march in a grand procession to Maha-Bodhi tree or to pagodas to pour scented water.
Thingyan Water Festival
This Myanmar water festival is the most important amidst the Myanmar water festivals as it marks the onset of a new Burmese year. People get on stages erected on the streets by Bamboos and drench each other in the water. People splash water through pipes from jeeps and trucks, and children enjoy with little water pistols. The monks and elderly are spared though. This festival symbolizes cleansing of the past sins, and captive birds and fishes are also freed during this Myanmar’s Thingyan Festival.
Kachin Manaw Festival
Manaw Festival is usually held in Kachin State and is held every year in January to welcome the New Year. During the festival, you will see Manaw poles that are long, artistically designed, and erected at the centre of the festival area. Kachin people usually dance around these poles as a way to celebrate the New Year, the reunion of tribes, and the victories in battle. You can see beautiful Kachin people in their traditional costumes, and you may also participate in the dance with them during the festival.
Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival
A giant elephant is made with the help of bamboo and paper, and two men get inside it and try to match the beats and the rhythm of the drums. The dance pays homage to the Shwe Tha Lyaung pagoda and aims at increasing the unity of the people. Do not miss such exciting sights and have a great time being a part of this amazing festival amongst the other Myanmar festivals in 2019.
Full-moon of Tazaungmon
Also known as Festival of Lights, it is held on Tazaungmon, the eighth month of Burmese calendar (usually in November). This day marks the end of the rainy season. Tazaungdaing Festival is to honor the introduction of Buddhism in Myanmar.
On this day, robe-weaving competitions to create special yellow monk robes named matho thingyan are held over the country during two consecutive nights (the preceding night and the full-moon night), most outstanding in Yangon’s Shwedagon pagoda. Contestants will work continuously from night to sunrise. These robes will be offered to monks in the Kahtain ceremony.