Below you will find a list of the biggest local and nationwide festivals in Myanmar in 2018 and 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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Kaunghmudaw Pagoda Festival
This five day festival is centered on one of the most venerated sites central Myanmar, the Kaunghmudaw Pagoda. Monks perform rituals, there are Yokhte (marionette) performances and farmers gather from the surrounding area to sell their produce.
Taunggyi Fire Balloon Festival
Shwezigon Pagoda Festival
This festival is one of Bagan’s biggest yearly events and its centrepiece is the alms-giving ceremony to many hundreds of monks who gather at the Shwezigon Pagoda from the monasteries in the surrounding area. It also features theatre shows and traditional dancing.
Pyin Oo Lwin Balloon Festival
Similar to the Taunggyi Balloon Festival but smaller in scale, this event remains great fun and isn’t as hectic and crowded as its big brother. It also offers balloon competitions through the day and evening.
Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights
This festival predates the introduction of Buddhism to Myanmar, marking the end of the monsoon and the end of the Kathina season, when monks are offered alms and new robes.
Karen New Year
Nationwide (particularly Karen State and Hpa An)
The capital of Karen (Kayin) State, Hpa An, is the centre for new year celebrations of this important ethnic group of Myanmar; participants party in the streets, performing traditional music and wearing distinctive local costumes.
The most famous celebration of Kachin culture, this festival takes place in Putao and state capital Myitkyina; dancing, traditional costumes and huge, brightly coloured ‘Manaw’ poles are features of this popular festival.