Festivals in myanmar

sand stupa festival

Over the course of one night, stupas are built from sand in three different districts of Mandalay. A stupa consists of five parts which are positioned above one another and supported by bamboo mats and posts. Every district holds its building ceremony on a different date.

chin lone festival

The Chin Lone (a ball made of bamboo or rattan) tournament is held in Mandalay, on the site of the Mahamuni Pagoda. Players from all parts of the country take part in this event. The aim of this ball game is to keep the ball in the air for as long as possible without using your hands. The players have had tremendous practice at this game and their acrobatics never cease to amaze onlookers. The games are accompanied by native music.

taung byone nat festival

The Taung Byone Nat or Spirit Festival is a very popular celebration, which is held during the rainy season (July-August). Taung Pyone is situated about one hour's drive north of Mandalay. The homage celebration is now held annually, to appease the spirits, as it is believed that the Nats can make wishes come true, protect against illness and danger and bring their worshippers wealth and success. According to legend, two Indian brothers named Byat Wi and Byat Ta received extraordinary powers after eating the body of a dead alchemist. Byat Wi, the older brother, lost his supernatural power after walking under a clothesline on which women’s skirts used in childbirth had been hung. He was captured and killed after his mistress had offered him a betel nut and a glass of water. Byat Ta was killed by King Anawrahta’s magical lance after returning late for the third time with fresh flowers from Mount Pop for the royal audience. As a result, his wife Popa Medaw died of a broken heart.
15 years later, the two sons of Byat Ta and Popa Medaw, who were adopted by King Anawratha, each forgot to bring a brick to be used for building the ‘Pagoda of Wishes’. King Anawratha soon found out who was responsible for the two missing bricks and gave the order to hit them gently with a fillet stick. The trap, which been planned all along and set by the king's son Kyansittha, meant they were beaten instead with bamboo sticks and died. Hundreds of mediums (Nat-Kadaw) and thousands of pilgrims come once a year to Taung Byone, where the statues of the two brothers are erected in a shrine. The ‘Pagoda of Wishes’ remains there to this day with the two missing bricks. It is the most impressive Nat festival in Myanmar. Offerings and dances, the flow of traders, the constant arrival of pilgrims and the intense sound of loudspeakers accompany both day and night.

phaung daw oo festival

The most famous festival at Inle Lake. The images of Buddha from the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda are paraded around the lake on a ceremoniously decorated barge. They stop at every village to give believers the opportunity to pay homage. The festival is colourful and full of traditional influences. Traditional dances and boat races are held - there is something here for everyone. The festival normally lasts up to three weeks. For the programme of events for the Paung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival

elephant festival

This unique and exotic festival of dancing elephants is the annual high point of Kyaukse, which is located approximately 50 km south of Mandalay. The entire town takes part in the competition, in which it is not just about the best ‘elephant dance’, but also the most beautifully decorated ‘elephant’. As part of the dance, two men hide within a life-size elephant made from papier mâché and sing and dance while accompanied by music.