Festivals in Mandalay, Myanmar

  • Shinbyu Ceremony

    • 15 Mar 2013–16 Mar 2013

    Buddhists in Myanmar, as in other countries in Southeast Asia, traditionally send each of their sons to become monks for at least a brief period of time. The belief behind this tradition is that the act brings merit to the sons and their parents. The novices are dressed elaborately and carried aloft in a procession that weaves through the city among much fanfare

  • Hta-Mané Festival

    • 1 Jan 2014–7 Jan 2014

    This event celebrates good harvests. Its name is taken from a food that’s made of glutinous rice with garlic, ginger, groundnuts, shredded coconut and sesame oil, which is traditionally eaten at this time of year. Bonfires mark this joyful occasion

  • Mahamuni Pagoda Festival

    • 31 Jan 2014–1 Feb 2014

    Contests are held on the day before full-moon day that involve preparing the best glutinous rice delicacies. On the following morning, vast amounts of incense are burned, symbolically offering up heat to the Mahamuni image

  • Chinese New Year

    • 31 Jan 2014–3 Feb 2014

    As in every country where there are Chinese communities, this important event in the annual Chinese calendar and is celebrated for a minimum of three days. In Myanmar, the largest celebrations are held in Yangon and Mandalay, where you’ll hear loud drum and cymbal sounds accompanying dragon and lion dances

  • Full-moon Day of Tabaung

    • 16 Mar 2014

    It was originally held in commemoration of the day that King Anawrahta returned from an expedition to Yunnan (China). This is more of a spiritual ceremony, and is solemn in nature

  • Thingyan Festival

    • 13 Apr 2014–16 Apr 2014

    This marks the celebration of the Burmese New Year. The modern-day version of this water festival involves people throwing buckets of water at anyone who ventures out into the streets and then tossing a bucket of soot on top of them. At the end of the day’s festivities, a procession is held, accompanied by dancing drummers. Cows are also dressed up in costumes and fish are set free in the rivers

  • Watering the Sacred Bo Tree Festival

    • 17 Apr 2014

    Held on the full-moon day of Kason, this event marks the Buddha's birthday with the pouring of water on the sacred bo tree, under which the former Prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment

  • Waso Festival

    • 11 Jul 2014

    This festival marks the beginning of Buddhist Lent, and a period during which monks spend most of their time within their monasteries. This coincides with the beginning of the rainy season in Myanmar. Monks are presented with new robes and other requirements of daily life to see them through the coming months

  • Dhama Sakya Day

    • 15 Jul 2014

    On this day the Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon to his disciples. The religious activities held on this holy day are featured at monasteries throughout the country, with monks preaching sermons and reciting praises to the Buddha in the Pali language, and Buddhist faithful offering meals to the monks

  • Taung Byone Nat Festival

    • 3 Aug 2014–10 Aug 2014

    Spirit dances are a main feature of the festival, as are attending a nat audience. Subsequent days involve a re-enactment of a royal bath, ascension to the throne, the daughter of Mahagiri reeling on the ground in grief and finally the cutting down of the htein tree.

  • Shwe-Kyun-bin Ceremony

    • 14 Aug 2014–16 Aug 2014

    This ceremony lasts for three days, during which time traditional marine vessels of various sizes gather to pay homage to the nats or hill spirits as they move along the Irrawaddy River. Spirit dances also feature in this event.

  • Thadingyut Lights Festival

    • 25 Oct 2014–27 Oct 2014

    The end of Buddhist Lent is celebrated with the Festival of Lights. This event lasts for three days, when Buddhists from all parts of the country display decorative lights at night, paying respect to the Buddha. This is also a time when communities organise open-air entertainment and games, and set up booths selling food and gifts

  • Elephant Dance Festival

    • 25 Oct 2014–26 Oct 2014

    Approximately 25 miles south of Mandalay, there’s an annual festival of elephant dances held at the end of the Lights Festival. The dances are held alongside colourful parades

  • Tazaungdine Festival of Lights

    • 17 Nov 2014

    At this time of year, the skies are clear and the weather is dry. With the harvest of the first crops of the year, Myanmar celebrates by lighting up the streets at night with various types of illumination.

  • Kahtein Thingan Weaving Festival

    • 23 Nov 2014

    Although major events are held at pagodas in Yangon, contests are also held in other parts of Myanmar. Competitions are staged in which yellow robes are woven during the night. The garments produced are then offered to the Buddha images at various pagodas at dawn

  • War-going Ceremony

    • 17 Dec 2014

    Originally, the full-moon day of Nadaw commemorated Anawratha's expedition to China. Today, that event is celebrated in March. In December, this ceremony is held that is greatly influenced by spirit mediums and involves dances and Buddhist chanting

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