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Welcome To Myanmar

Myanmar is a Land of Festivals: a festival for every month of the year. Most festivals are cultural and religious. Majority are nation-wide celebrated while a few are distinctly regional. The dates of the festivals and special events are determined by the Lunar Year.

Kachin Manau Festival, January
The Tawt Malan or Padan Manau Festival.This festival is held to ensure victory in battle. In ancient times, it was like a battle cry issued forth to recruit warriors to march on enemies. Then there is the Ju Manau, which is a festival to pray for health, protection from harm, for offspring to carry on family traditions and other religious occasions.
Naga New Year Festival , January 
The Nagas form a small but colorful national group among 100 national races of Myanmar. These people inhabit the mountain regious that form the Myanmar - India border in the north - west. Khamti, Lahe, Leshi and Htamanthi are the principal towns of the Naga region.They, the Nagas, earn their livelihood largely through agriculture and livestock breeding, such as cultivation of paddy, corn, soyabean, and other pulses, as well as vegetables like garlic,onion, cauliflower and fruits such as orange, damson and bananas. They also grow tea and coffee on the hill slopes and breed pigs, goats, chickens and cattle. Of the cattle bred, there is one special species known as "Nwa Nauk" which is larger and beefier than the Myanmar cow of the plains that is a cross between the cow and the buffalo. There are also a few cottage industries like spinning and weaving, pottery and black smithy.

Shwedagon Festival
The festival of the Shwedagon Pagoda is celebrated on the fullmoon day of Tauaung (March) every year. This is the eand mark of Myanmar, vistible from all directions. It situates on the hill of seinguttra and therefore it lore the original name of Seinguttra Ceti. It was built by King Utkalapa enshrinijg the sacred hair relies of the sord Buddha in this life time, brought by the two young trader brothers Tapuss a and Balirea who went to Buddha gaya to trade and came to see the sord Buddha in his early days of Enlightenment. The original stupa was only 66 feet, and now becomes 326 feet after many renovations by successive ruears of Myanmar. The Shwedagon is now the second tallest religious structure in the country whereas the first tallest one in the Shwemawdaw pagoda in Bago having the height of 373 feet. It is the most beautiful and magnificient structure in the world. It is a touring spire of Shimmering gold.

Kakku Pagoda Festival
Annually in March, on the full moon day of Tabaung (March) which is the last month of the Myanmar lunar calendar, Kakku Pagoda festival takes place. Normally the festival will begin two or three days in advance for this is not just a religious festival but also a social occasion. It is the time for all to have fun, exchange news and gossips, to trade. For the younger set it is the time to meet their friends from other villages or the boys to fall in love with the girls.
Thingyan (Water) Festival, April
Myanmar revelers celebrating the annual Thingyan water festival, or country's annual Buddhist New Year festival, on Inya road in Myanmar's largest city Yangon, Monday, April 14, 2008. The traditional water festival, which begins Saturday, falls during the hottest period of the year and is celebrated by people splashing water on each other. 

Kason Watering Tree Festival, May
1st of May - well known for International Labor day, happens to be one very significant day for Myanmar Buddhist people. This month in Myanmar calendar is called “Kason” and Burmese celebrate one of the most religious and historically significant events on Kason full moon day.

Taungpyone  "Nat" (July/ August)
The festival of Taungpyone is a very peculiar and particular spirit worshiping festival uncommon to many Buddhist traditions. It takes place in the small Taungpyone village, about nine miles north of Mandalay. The Taungpyone Nat festival is held for 4 days every year in the Myanmar month of Wagaung (August). The Nat festival reaches the climax on the fourth day when the faithful observe the bathing ritual of the two Nat princes, carried on palanquin followed by the train of procession to the Shwe Ta Chaung stream (the Golden stream) which runs close to the west of the village.
Tawthalin Boat Races, September
The biggest festival in Myanmar is the water festival, Thingyan is the period of transition from the old to New Year, and to welcome in the New Year people cheerfully douse each other with water. Teasing, playing and joking are all part of the spirit of the season. But Thingyan is not all play, the king of celestials comes to earth at this time in human form to check whether people are living and practicing Buddhist ways. People fast, give alms and do good deeds. Young people sweep the grounds, wash building and help to cooking for the monks. Some people offer snacks free to sightseers. The all encompassing Thingyan goodwill and loving-kindness is an auspicious way to start the New Year.

Thadingyut Festival of Light, October
This three-day festival is held around the Full Moon Day of the lunar month of Thadingyut, which usually falls in mid-October. These days and nights are marked throughout the country with the lighting of bright and colorful candles and paper lanterns, and the shining of electric bulbs, in houses, parks and street-side lampposts. Children in particular find the festival exciting, as they enjoy walking around holding paper lanterns.
Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda Festival, October
Nyaungshwe, Burma (Myanmar) - The festival of Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda in Inle Lake is the biggest festival of the Lake. The images of the Buddha from Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda are placed on a decorated royal barge pulled by leg rowing fishermen and taken around the Lake, stopping at villages for people to pay homage. 

Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival, October
Dancing Elephant Festival is also another famous festival in Myanmar. It is held in Kyaukse, near Mandalay. It is a marvelous performance of two men together to dance in rhythm. A huge elephant figure is made from bamboo and paper. Men take their places inside the figure and dance around the town to the accompaniment of Dobat and Drums. The elephant dancers circles three times at the foot of the hill to pay homage to the Shwe Tha Lyaung Pagoda. It is a dance that requires precise rhythm and timing in order for the elephant dancers to maintain unity inside the elephant figure. People from far and near come to visit Kyaukse and watch the elephant dance.

Tazaungmone Festival of Lights, November
The robe weaving ceremony is held on the eve of the day before the full moon of Tazaungmone (November). This is a competition for the weaving skills between teams of women to complete special saffron-coloured robes, called "Ma Tho Thin Gan" (non stale robe) from the evening till dawn. At dawn,the prizes are given to the winners and the finished robes are offered to the Images of Lord Buddha.This festival lasts for about three days.

Hot Air Balloons & Fireworks Festival, November
The most spectacular part of the festival is the hot air balloon contests, held in commemoration of offering lights to the “Sula Mani Pagoda” that is build in Tavatisma(the heaven of the 33 gods). The Buddha birth stories (Jatakas) tell that prince Theidatta made a great renunciation, afterwards shedding His hair and flung them into the sky. The king of the 33 gods (Tagyarmin) took those hairs and enshrined those into the “Sula Mani Pagoda”. To honour this pagoda, the hot air balloons take off into the sky each year.

Myanmar Tour Program
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