Festivals in Myanmar
Myanmar has a number of large festivals; some, like the new year Thingyan water festival in mid-April, are held all the way across the country. Others are local, like the Taung Byone nat festival in August. Each pagoda has its own festival - even a little pagoda in the back streets of Mandalay will have an annual celebration.
Many Buddhist festivals are dated by the lunar calendar, so the dates differ from year to year - a bit like Easter for Christians.
- Manao Festival in Myitkyina, 19 January.
- Ananda Pahto, Bagan, December-January.
- Shwedagon Paya Festival, February/March - the biggest pagoda festival in the country.
- Buddha's birthday, April or May full moon.
- Tazaungdaing, October or November full moon: 'festival of lights' with fire balloons in Taunggyi.
Family celebrations include the ear-piercing ceremony for children and the ordination of boys and young men as monks - you'll often find such ceremonies being held in pagodas.