Religious in Mandalay

Taungbyone Nat Pwe

This massive, chaotic festival is held about 12 miles north of Mandalay, and honours two famous Bagan-era nat (spirit beings). Celebrations – which consist of lots of loud music, village drinking and more loud music…
Religious in Mandalay

Mingun Nat Festival

Pays homage to the brother and sister of the Teak Tree, who drowned in the river while clinging to a trunk. This fascinating festival takes place from the fifth to 10th days of the waxing moon of Tabaung – the Burme…
Religious in Bagan

Ananda Pahto

This roughly two-week event culminates on the full moon of Pyatho. It's Bagan’s biggest festival, when hundreds of monks come to collect alms from thousands of merit-seeking locals.
Cultural in Myitkyina

Lisu New Year

Started in 2011, this big three-day bash unites Lisu folks from all across Kachin State and Xishuangbanna (China) in a very colourful, if comfortably slow-moving fair. The event is entirely untouristy, unless you co…
Cultural in Inle Lake

Phaung Daw Oo Paya Festival

Inle comes alive during late September or early October for the 18-day Phaung Daw Oo Paya Festival at Phaung Daw Oo Paya. The five revered golden Buddha images from the pagoda are ferried around the lake in a gilded…
Cultural in Myitkyina

Manao Festival

Originally a way to propitiate the local nat, this is now a nationally important gathering of the six Kachin tribes for feasting and costumed dances. It's performed in Manao park (north of centre), where the large N…
Religious in Mandalay


On the full moon of Thadingyut, Myanmar's lights festival celebrates Buddha's return from the celestial sphere. At the south base of Mandalay Hill, the big temple festival at Kyauktawgyi Paya builds for two weeks be…
Cultural in Dawei

Thingyan Festival

During the annual Thingyan festival in April, Dawei’s male residents don huge, 13ft-high bamboo-frame effigies and dance down the streets to the beat of the kalakodaun, an Indian long drum. The origin of this custom…
Religious in Pathein


The people of Pathein celebrate the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and passing away with a huge paya pwe (pagoda festival) during the full moon of Myanmar's month of Kason. The festival is held at the Shwemokhtaw Pay…
Religious in Thanlyin & Kyauktan


In the third week of January, Thanlyin’s Hindu community celebrates (or endures depending on your opinion) Thaipusam, the ritual of penitence in which devotees repent bad deeds by impaling themselves with hooks and …