Why you should visit the Thingyan Festival in Yangon!

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Thingyan is finally here! Ei Kay Khaing gives her best tips why you should visit this magical festival in Myanmar.

The Burmese New Year Festival Thingyan is held annually 4 – 5 days around mid-April through the whole nation. It is the biggest festival in the country and a massive water fight! This year Saturday, April 13 to Tuesday, April 16.

Songkran is a quite well known internationally but Myanmar still holds a lot of traditions and craziness to it. The country pretty much turns of for one week, shops close and everyone gets out on the streets spraying water on each other from the morning through out the day.

In Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, the scene has been modernized and it has developed into a real party city. You will see children with water guns and pick-up trucks full up with people dancing to the heavy music with beats banging on the streets. During Thingyan, people won’t be mad of getting wet as it means washing away the bad deeds of the last year and starting the new year with a fresh mind by pouring water on each other .

Highlights of Thingyan festival:

  • There is free food distribution on the streets. You can save money on food in the day! Locals treat coffees, fried noodles and traditional Thingyan snacks like Mont Lone Yay Paw (glutinous rice balls) on the street.
  • There are also splash walks in Yangon and Mandalay. In Yangon, it will take place at Inya Road including stage shows and Satudithar (free serving of food). You can go around and enjoy burmese traditional food such as Shwe Yin Aye, Mont Lat Saung and Thingyan Rice, etc. In Mandalay, the splash walk takes place in the south part of the palace (Mya Nan San Kyaw Golden Palace) which includes entertainment programs with famous singers in the country. It’s free of charge. You will see colorful mandats (pandals).

That’s the way of how Myanmar people participate traditionally in Thingyan Festival.

If you are fond of participating in a modernized way, you can have fun on the mandats/pandals where the best DJs and musicians entertain thousands of people every day from morning till sunset. But you have to buy the tickets. The prices are around 50,000 kyats per day. Most of the mandats from Yangon are located at the venue on Pyay Road. See more details here.

Another way to enjoy Thingyan festival is to hang out with a car. Either join one of the pickups going around where you can be sprayed with water or rent your own. The rental prices are around 120,000 kyats for one day. But be aware of drunk people stepping out in the streets or drunk driving.

Thingyan is not only a time for fun but also a tradition to keep.

So, Happy Myanmar New Year for you all! May this fortunate New Year brings all the best for YOU.

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