List of Burmese traditional festivals

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Burmese traditional festivals are based on the traditional Burmese calendar and dates are largely determined by the moon's phase.[citation needed] Burmese culture is most evident in villages where local festivals are held throughout the year, the most important being the pagoda festival.[1][2]


Month Festival(s) Day Significance Events
Tagu (April) Thingyan Mid-April Marks the beginning of the Burmese new year Gadaw (paying obeisance to elders), water games, observation of the Buddhist Sabbath (Uposatha), parades
Kason (May) Bo tree watering festival Full moon of Kason Marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha (Vesākha) Watering of the Bo tree
Nayon (June) Tipitaka Festival Nationwide Pariyatti Sasana examinations for Buddhist monks[3]
Waso (July) Robe Offering Festival,[4] Dhammasekya Day Full moon of Waso Marks the beginning of the Buddhist lent (Vassa); anniversary of Buddha's first sermon on the Four Noble Truths Donation of monk robes, shinbyu ceremonies
Wagaung (August) Taungbyon Nat Festival[5]
Tawthalin (September) Regatta Festival Boat rowing competitions
Thadingyut (October) Festival of Lights Full moon of Thadingyut Marks the end of the Buddhist lent (Vassa) Gift exchanges, gadaw (paying obeisance to elders), lighting of candles, pagoda visits
Tazaungmon (November) Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights[6] Full moon of Tazaungmon Marks the end of the rainy season Lighting of hot air balloons by the Shan People in Shan State, and lanterns nationwide
Kyi Ma No Festival Mischief-making
Kahtein Thingan Offering Festival Between Thadingyut and Tazaungmon Offering of Kathina robes to Buddhist monks
Nadaw (December) Karen New Year Marks the new year of the Karen people
Nat festivals[7] Ritual feasts honoring Burmese nats (spirits)
Pyatho (January) Kachin Manaw Festival Marks the new year of the Kachin people
Tabodwe (February) Harvest Festival[8] Celebration of rice harvests Cooking of htamane, a special sticky rice made with sesame seeds, peanuts and ginger
Tabaung (March) Shwedagon Pagoda Festival[9]
Nationwide pagoda festivals
Nationwide pagoda festivals Celebrations on Singuttara Hill


  1. ^ Tsaya (1886). Myam-ma, the home of the Burman. Calcutta: Thacker, Spink and Co. pp. 36–37.
  2. ^ Shway Yoe (1882). The Burman – His Life and Notions. New York: Norton Library 1963. pp. 211–216, 317–319.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 25 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ [2] Archived 18 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ [3] Archived 8 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "MODiNS [ Myanmar Online Information ]". Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  7. ^ "MODiNS [ Myanmar Online Information ]". Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  8. ^ "MODiNS [ Myanmar Online Information ]". Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  9. ^ "MODiNS [ Myanmar Online Information ]". Retrieved 19 March 2012.