June 22, 2018
MYANMAR Tourism Marketing has announced the addition 4 new festivals on the calendar of places to visit and experience in Myanmar and all these festivals are held during the country’s green season which runs from May till September.
The festivals are all held in the so-called “dry zone” in the middle of the country and as the name suggests the area doesn’t get much rain and is therefore ideal to visit in this period.
Two of the festivals are held in the old temple area Bagan and are completely unknown on the international tourist calendar and therefore the tourism industry thought it’s time to put them in the spotlight.
“Bagan is an enchanting place to visit and especially when there is a festival going on you get to know the culture of the wider area of Bagan as villagers from all over the countryside will come to the festival grounds to celebrate,” says Mrs. May Myat Mon Win, chairperson, Myanmar Tourism Marketing.
She continues, “Even many people from Yangon didn’t know about these festivals, so we’re very happy that we have been able to add them to our festival list for 2018 on our website www.myanmar.travel as we are sure more international tourists will find it a fantastic opportunity to visit.”
Bagan’s Lawkanandaw Pagoda will be the centre point of the festivities on 18 and 19 August that include traditional boat racing, stage shows, dance performances and of course a lot of traditional food and drinks.
The Manuha festival is held from 23 to 25 September in Myinkaba village and visitors are treated with rice cakes and pickled winter melon. Colourful paper-maché life-size puppets competitions take place during the Manuha Pagoda Festival and you will see a parade of colours around the city in the forms of the Manuha King himself, animals and other figures. Both festivals are very colourful and certainly worth visiting.
Many different religions go hand in hand in Myanmar and while the Bagan region is celebrating the Buddhist festivals, closer to Mandalay several “spirit festivals” are organised. T
he Taungbyone Nat Festival is the biggest and most famous festival that is held from 19 – 26 August 2018 and many “Nat Pwe groups and performers from all over the country gather to show their rituals.
An American tourist who attended in 2017 described it as “mediums and devotees coming from all over the country take part and watch nats (spirit possessed people) dance and consume a lot of alcohol – until they reach a state of trance. It is an intriguing and sometimes a bit strange festival which has a bit of a hippy / Woodstock atmosphere and is popular with gay and transvestites as many play an important role in the Nat worship.”
The Yadana Gu Nat Festival is very similar to the bigger Taungbyone festival and is held from 3rd to 9th September 2018 on the banks of the banks of Taungthaman Lake (famous for the U-Bein Bridge).
As the festivals are in the middle of the green season it’s actually one of the best periods to visit this part of Myanmar as it shows nature at its best and the weather is pleasant.