Myanmar Festival Calendar 2019

Below you will find a list of the biggest local and nationwide festivals in Myanmar in 2019; note that this is not a full list of all festivals, as there are too many around the country to include all of them here. For more background, go to festivals, music and entertainment.

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Baw Gyo Pagoda Festival

Date:
14 March 2019 to 30 March 2019
Location:
Description:

At this festival it is the custom for pilgrims to cover four Buddha images, which are kept hidden for the rest of the year, with gold leaf; goods including tea and jewellery are brought from the surrounding mountains by local people.

Shwedagon Pagoda Festival

Date:
16 March 2019 to 20 March 2019
Location:
Description:

A five-day festival centred on Myanmar’s most famous religious site, it leads up to the full moon. Robes are hand-crafted for monks and people come from all over the country to offer alms.

Kakku Pagoda Festival

Date:
18 March 2019 to 20 March 2019
Location:

near Taunggyi

Description:

This three day festival takes place amongst the thousands of stupas at Kakku, where the local Pa’O tribe celebrate the end of the harvest. There is a market and traditional garments are worn for song and dance.

Pindaya Cave Festival

Date:
18 March 2019 to 20 March 2019
Location:
Description:

This festival marks the end of the harvest and the full moon of Tabaung, taking place around the famous Buddha-filled caves of Pindaya. Locals wear traditional tribal costumes and the roads are lined with market stalls.

Thingyan Water Festival (Burmese New Year)

Date:
13 April 2019 to 16 April 2019
Location:

Nationwide

Description:

Myanmar’s biggest nationwide festival and holiday. For more information, go here.

Sand Stupa Festival

Date:
13 May 2019 to 19 May 2019
Location:
Description:

On each night of this week-long festival, a sand stupa is built in a different district of the city. Hundreds gather to cook and eat street food, commemorate the occasion, and pray before the sand Pagoda. Different evenings have different festivities.

Shittaung Pagoda Festival

Date:
15 May 2019 to 18 May 2019
Location:
Description:

On the Full Moon of Kason, wrestling competitions take place around the ancient Shittaung Pagoda while both mock and real boat races are held in the area.

Kasong Full Moon Festival

Date:
18 May 2019
Location:

Nationwide

Description:

Celebrating the day on which the Buddha attained enlightenment under a Bodhi (Banyan) tree, this festival includes a ceremony which involves the pouring of water at the bases of these trees all around Myanmar – at a time of year which is hot and the land parched. It is also a time for meritorious deeds such as meditation and the offering of flowers.

Thi Ho Shin Pagoda Festival

Date:
21 May 2019 to 23 May 2019
Location:
Description:

A traditional Buddhist pagoda festival and the biggest of the year in Pakkoku, it hosts a market and evening entertainment

Waso Chinlone Festival

Date:
16 July 2019
Location:
Description:

This annual festival celebrates the traditional Myanmar sport of chinlone, and is the biggest of its type in the country. Over 1,000 teams participate in the grounds of the Mahamuni Pagoda, with the games starting at 9am and lasting 30 minutes each.

Taungbyone Nat Festival

Date:
8 August 2019 to 15 August 2019
Location:

Taungbyone, north of Mandalay

Description:

One of Myanmar’s largest and most vibrant festivals, and certainly one of its most unusual, this is a nat (Burmese spirit) like no other. For more information, read our blog here.

Bo Bo Gyi Nat Fesitval

Date:
17 September 2019 to 23 September 2019
Location:
Description:

This festival celebrates Bo Bo Gyi, an alchemist who is now revered as a nat (Burmese spirit). Taking part involves throwing small tea leaf packets at others and if you are hit, you are supposed to attend again the following year to pay homage.

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