Although Thingyan is over and Myanmar has plenty of festivals to keep the tradition alive and celebrations, our interns Kyaw Soe Han and Min Pyae Sone have discovered the festive activities in May for you to visit if you are still in the country or booking a flight to this golden land.
Mt. Popa Festival
3 May 2019
On the beautiful hills of Mt. Popa, which people believe to be the home of the Spirits or “Nats,” the festival will be celebrated by pilgrims from all across the nation–they will be paying their respects to the Nats that reside on the extinct volcano. If you plan on being part of the festivities, you can take a ride to Mt. Popa from Bagan. However, your vehicle won’t be driving you up to the hills, you would have to take a long fleet of stairs, packed with mischievous monkeys to get to the temple where you can experience this festival.
Sand Stupa Festival, Mandalay
13 May 2019
This month in Pa Le` Ngwe Yaung, Yahai, and Min Thar Su Quarters of Mandalay, a cluster of sand stupas will be erected in the three districts in the course of only one night. Each stupa will be stacked with almost 5 layers of sand which are then supported by bamboo mats. Of course, like almost every other religious festival in Myanmar, there will be a plethora of food stalls and many different souvenirs. Each district will be celebrating the ceremony on different days.
Shwe Kyet Yet Event, Amarapura
15 – 18 May 2019
In Central Myanmar, Shwe Kyet Yet festival also takes part in ritualizing Kason watering ceremony. In this event, locals pour scented water on the holy Bodhi trees at regional areas. Although it is similar to the other celebrations of Kason sacred Bo Tree watering ceremony in the country, Shwe Kyet Yet celebrates a day before the actual Kason watering day. Being a former ancient capital of Myanmar, you can take an exciting day-trip to Amarapura from Mandalay. On the way around, you can experience other historical tourist attractions in the area.
Full moon day of Kason Festival
18 May 2019
Myanmar celebrates Full Moon Day of Kasong – the very same day of the year that Buddha was born, attained enlightenment and passed away on the second month of Buddhist calendar, which usually corresponds to May on the Gregorian Calendar falls on 18 May this year. The major activity of this day is the ceremonial watering of “Holy Bodhi tree” as a sign of doing good deeds and pay homage to Buddha. Buddhists throughout the whole country meditate, offer flowers and incense offerings to Buddha images and pagodas, and many kinds of actions like free Burmese snacks and drinks to the guests to achieve merit on the Full Moon Day of Kasong. If you want to participate, you can visit the following pagodas: Shwedagon, Sule, Botahtaung, Chauktatgyi, Maha Wizaya and Kabar Aye. Since it’s such a big event, there should be a big crowd and always remember to take off your shoes when you visit the pagodas.
Shitethaung Pagoda Festival, Mrauk-U
23 – 27 May 2019
Shitethaung temple, with its state-of-the-art architecture of the maze-like interior, is inarguably one of the most captivating destinations in Mrauk Oo of Rakhine State. Shitethaung translates directly to “80,000”, referring to the number of Buddha images kept in the temple over the hill. Shitethaung festival, which usually falls on the 23rd of May and lasts 5 days, celebrates no different than most of the pagoda festivals in the country with the exception of the thrilling traditional boxing show and the long boat race as well.