Posts Tagged ‘Myanmar / Burma’

NEW DAWN FOR SMALL-SCALE SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN SOUTHERN MYANMAR

published by Mekong Tourism online magazine and contributed by Keith Lyons

13th of March 2020

A tiny village in the backwaters of southern Myanmar is cleaning up its act and laying out the welcome mat, as Keith Lyons finds during a visit to a remote settlement sharing an estuary with Thailand.

Mergui Archipelago / Myanmar

Long-tail boats are used for transport, cargo and fishing in the estuary which divides Myanmar and Thailand at the southern-most tip of Myanmar.

As tourist destinations go, it would be hard to find any place smaller than ramshackle Wae Ngae. The tiny Burmese hamlet of a dozen rickety wooden stilt-houses looks out across a wide estuary to its more prosperous neighbour Thailand. The sleepy village, where small fish dry on racks in the fierce midday sun, is an unlikely test-case for a responsible tourism project which ambitiously aims to better lives, while conserving neglected habitats, as well as providing intrepid visitors with an authentic non-touristy experience, an antidote to commercial tourism and the catchphrase of 2019 – over-tourism.

Just launched is a new Community-Based Tourism (CBT) initiative along with efforts to improve waste management. “This is part of our efforts to promote responsible tourism models and practices in the Kawthaung area, involving small communities, civic groups, local government and the private sector,” says Istituto Oikos Country Director and STAR Project Manager Daniele Alleva. Italian NGO OIKOS (www.istituto-oikos.org/en), which employs European and Myanmar biodiversity and sustainable development experts, launched its STAR Program in 2018 in the southern Myanmar’s Tanintharyi region, having initially focused earlier efforts on Lampi Marine National Park in the Mergui Archipelago before extending its outreach to the mainland’s Kawthaung district. Funded by the Italian government and private donors, the three-year project aims to promote well-being and social inclusion, as well as working alongside communities to protect soil, water, forests and wildlife.

While the Myanmar partly-democratic government has recognized the important role of tourism in the nation’s post-dictatorship economic development, the southern (and largely neglected) region has been identified as an area with untapped potential. Past exploitative forestry, mining and fishing practices have damaged the environment, with vast plantations producing palm oil and rubber and a smuggler economy meaning little of the region’s wealth from natural resources trickles down to ordinary Burmese.

There is no road access to Wae Ngae, a ‘new’ village established by Burmese from further north in search of new opportunities in fishing, farming or manual labor. There is no boat or ferry service to the villages dotted beside the estuary or up tributary rivers, says Shwe Fun from the partner organization Parchan River Conservation and Development Association (PRCDA). There are many challenges, including lack of facilities and infrastructure. Neither his organization, nor the government’s fisheries department (part of the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development), are adequately resourced or empowered. The only way for him (and the fisheries officer inspecting the oyster and mussel farms) to reach the settlements is to hitch a ride from the port of Kawthaung on a long-tail boat for the two-hour journey upriver.

longtail to the remote villages Myanmar

There aren’t enough resources and the estuary area bordering Thailand is lacking infrastructure, says Shwe Fun partner organization Parchan River Conservation and Development Association (PRCDA), who is working to improve livelihoods and protect the environment.

Passing the large flotilla of fishing boats docked at Kawthaung, most which catch squid and fish for the Thailand ‘grey’ market (there are no processing facilities in Kawthaung), any visit must be timed with the tides. Across the estuary of the Panchang river, which is sometimes turbulent in windy conditions, Thailand is tantalisingly close. On the Thai side, the river is known as Kraburi, and beyond Thailand’s largest preserved mangrove forests are the bright lights of Ranong, with its 7-Elevens, and menial jobs for those lucky enough to be able to work legally (or illegally).

The inequalities are highlighted at Wae Ngae village, where residents struggle to survive, fishing at night the river estuary, trapping crabs and farming oysters and mussels on the tidal mudflats and mangrove forest riverbanks.

Despite the subsistence existence of the inhabitants of Wae Ngae (and its larger twin settlement of Wae Gyi), a banquet of freshly-prepared dishes is served for visitors upstairs in a newly-constructed stilt-house. A locally-harvested medicinal root, similar to cassava, is served in a tonic drink with honey, preserved in whisky.

As brahminy kites and sea eagles soar and circle on thermals, Alleva says for adventurous visitors there are opportunities for bird-watching, spotting dolphins, visiting fish and shellfish farms, and kayaking in the mangroves. “This project is ultimately run by the community, to ensure sustainability,” he says.

As well as the CBT initiative OIKOS has undertaken waste awareness campaigns in many villages. “Wae Ngae is one of five villagers where we are promoting social inclusion by income-generating activities including a waste management project to enable participants to earn money instead of discarding trash,” says ecologist Cristina Tha, an assistant project manager with OIKOS, showing the area behind the settlement set aside to consolidate the rubbish.

Waste Managment program - Mergui Archipelago

Trash is separated for re-use, sale, recycling and disposal at a small estuary village in southern Myanmar, as part of a waste management program and community-based-tourism project by Italian NGO OIKOS

Later the open-air downstairs area is used for a meeting about the village’s waste recycling program which sees rubbish sorted for re-use, recycling, or disposal. Plastic which cannot be re-used is burned at high temperatures, while glass and cans along with scrap metal are ferried to Kawthaung or across the river to Thailand, where it can be sold. “It has been a challenge to get community buy-in, but at Wae Ngae they have an incentive to sort the trash, as the village makes money by selling it, mainly to Thailand, if the price is better than available in Kawthaung,” says assistant project manager Giulia Cecchinato, who has a background in forest and participatory forest management.

From Wae Ngae it is a pleasant 15-minute walk through leafy areca palms which yield betel nut, and rubber plantations where the bark is cut to bleed white latex into coconut shell cups, to Wae Gyi, where an open rubbish dump sits between the shoreline and the primary school and hilltop Buddhist monastery. Visitors to the area will be able to venture up a tributary of the Panchang River where ancient mangrove forest line the tidal stream, and clamber up a hillside for a panoramic view of the tropical jungle, before heading back to the bright lights of Kawthaung or Ranong, or the Andaman Club Casino on a nearby island.

Visitor numbers to Kawthaung have increased in recently years, as the border port is the gateway to Mergui archipelago’s new resorts, though many of the visitors are day trippers from Thailand, or foreigners on a quick visa run. There’s hope that backwaters on the estuary and among the mangroves such as Wae Ngae and Wae Gyi might benefit from the growth in tourism. Last week, the village of Wae Ngae received its first guests.

Interesting in visiting this amazing area?

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Myanmar eases travel rules

January 21, 2014 by TTRweekly

YANGON, 21 January 2014:    Myanmar’s immigration minister Khin Yi says the Muse-Shwe Li border gate will soon be upgraded to provide a new tourist entry point to the country.inside-no-511

The immigration minister told local media that the border gates between Myanmar and Thailand – including Tachileik-Mae Sai, Myawady-Mae Sot, Kawthoung-Ranong and Htee Khee-Sunaron – have also been upgraded as official international entry points for international visitors allowing them to travel freely to other destinations in the country and exit through a different checkpoint if required.

Visitors with valid passports and pre-issued visas from a Myanmar Embassy have been allowed to travel freely to most destinations in the country since last August.

According to the plan, foreign visitors holding a valid visa will be allowed to enter and exit Myanmar through the Muse gate, or exist through other points such as Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw international airports.

Myanmar is opening up more and moreToday, visitors crossing the border at Muse must enter and exit at the same point.

“The ministry will carry out tasks for mutual visa exemptions, upgrade an online visa system and allow permanent residence for foreigners wishing to work or retire in the country.”

He added: “We will cooperate through our links with regional organisations like GMS, ASEAN, BIMSTEC, and ACEMECS to introduce improvements such as, installing advanced technologies at international airports, border gateways, and government departments to establish a real-time data system and systematic immigration border management systems during the next fiscal year.”

Last year, Myanmar fully opened four checkpoints on the Myanmar-Thai border, namely Tachileik- Mae Sai, Myawaddy-Mae Sot, Tiki-Sunarong and Kawthoung-Ranong.

Myanmar southern border town

Travellers can continue their journey to other destinations and it gives them the choice to exit through another checkpoint than the one they used to enter the country.

Myanmar has 16 border checkpoints with neighbouring countries, but most of them offer limited access.Welcome sign at the bordertown Kawthaung / Myanmar

Myanmar authorities also grants pre-arranged visa-on-arrival for visitors for visitors from 48 countries. It requires pre-approval from authorities. Once the traveller has confirmation that the visa-on-arrival has been approved they can travel to Yangon to have the visa stamped into their passport on arrival.

However, airlines are very reluctant to transport visitors who claim to have a visa on arrival approved. They argue that supporting evidence that a visa has been approved and will be issued on arrival is not clear cut.

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Myanmar Holidays and Festivals

The Myanmar calendar subscribes to both the solar and lunar months, thus requiring an intercalary 30-day 13th month every second or third year. Therefore, the full moon days may change from one month to another in the usual calendar.

The exact dates of some of the holidays as well as the festivals are calculated according to the Myanmar lunar calendar, so the below details can change from year to year. Please check with us for details.

Independence Day (4th of January)

January 4th is Independence Day and an annual public holiday in Myanmar. Unlike other Independence Day around the world, this is not Myanmar’s National Day. The Myanmar’s National day is celebrate in late November to early December.

Britain made Burma a province of India in 1886 with the capital at Rangoon. From the very beginning there was a strong feeling of resentment against the rule of the British and Buddhist monks played an important role in the independence movement. The first Prime Minister was Ba Maw. Some Burmese saw the rise of Japan as an opportunity to gain independence from Britain. This led to the formation of the Burma Independence Army in Japan.

In March 1942 the Japanese took Burma and although many Burmese fought initially on the side of the Japanese in World War II, many others fought with the British. The Burmese army even switched allegiance from Japan to the allied forces in 1945.  The Panglong Agreement reached on February 12th 1947 and led to the unification of Burma as an independent state.

On January 4th 1948, the Union of Burma became independent from Britain and Burma became Myanmar in 1989.

Festivals and traditional activities across the country celebrate the date. Yangon festooned in patriotic colors to mark the occasion. Many men and women wear the national dress of Burma, which consists of a collarless shirt and skirt.

Union Day Wed (12th of February)

General Aung San, head of the interim Burmese government and representatives from the Shan states, the Kachin hills and the Chin hills met in Panglong to determine the future of Burma following the end of the Second World War.

Burma demanded that the British government restore independence to all of Burma. While instrumental in the Panglong agreement on the 12th of February 1947, Aung San did not live to see Burma gains its independence in January 1948.

This instrumental day in the country’s history books is an official public holiday in Myanmar. This day led eventually to the creation of an independent country in 1948.  And it honor the approved independence by the British.

For most of its residents, the day is a day for being among family and friends, as government officials and ministries organize parades and ceremonies to recall Union Day.

Peasants’ Day Mon (2nd of March)

Peasants’ Day is an annual public holiday in Myanmar on March 2nd and also known as Farmers’ Day. The holiday marks and honors the contribution of agriculture and farming to Myanmar.  70% of the country population works in farming and agriculture. The prosperity and success of the nation depends on those working the land. Over 60% of Myanmar’s Gross Domestic Product is generating from agriculture. The main agricultural product is rice and it is one of the biggest exporters of rice in Asia. The crops and products grown in Myanmar have been diversified in recent years, to ensure that the country is not too dependent on one particular crop.

Full Moon Day of Tabaung (8th of March)

Maka Bucha (also called Magja Puja) is pagoda festival. It is taking place in the last month of the year in the Burmese calendar. The date determined by the Lunar Cycle. Maka Bucha is a public holiday in several Mekong region countries such as Cambodia and Thailand as well as in Myanmar.

Celebrated with largest happening at the happening at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.

In the morning many Thai people wake up early to give alms to monks. In the evening, temples are full of people listening to sermons. Often they perform a ritual where they walk clockwise three times around the temple, holding flowers, incense, and a lit candle. Each of the three circuits represents one of the three jewels (ideas at the heart of Buddhism) – Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha.

 Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon

Armed Forces Day  (27th of March)   

Armed Forces Day is a public holiday in Myanmar on March 27th. Known as ‘Tatmadaw Nay’, it commemorates the rebellion against Japanese occupation during the second world war.

In 1886, Burma came under British control. From the earliest days of colonization, there was a strong feeling of resentment against the rule of the British. Some Burmese saw the rise of Japan during World War 2 as an opportunity to gain independence from Britain. Aung San was a prominent figure in the independence movement and exiled to China. He collaborated with Japan and with Burmese nationalist support, Japan took control of Burma in 1942. However Aung San came to realize that the Japanese had no intention of giving independence to Burma and on March 23rd 1945, he led the Burmese army in a rebellion against the Japanese that helped the Allied forces remove the Japanese from the region.

The key event on this day is a large parade by the Tatmadaw, the Myanmar military in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar. Originally this holiday was called Resistance Day, but it was renamed to Armed Forces Day by the Tatmadaw.

 

Myanmar New Year Holidays /  Thingyan  (from 12-16th of April)

Burmese New Year takes place at the culmination of the Thingyan Water Festival. After three days of partying and sprinkling everybody with water during Thingyan, the traditional New Year’s Day festivities begin. This is a day to make new resolutions for the coming year, usually about changing bad behavior and promising to do more good deeds for a better karma.

An unusual custom is the releasing fish.  The fish are rescued from dried up lakes and rivers and  released on New Year’s Day into larger lakes and rivers with a prayer and a wish saying “I release you once, you release me ten times”.

On New Year’s Day, people offer food called Satuditha to passers-by and those celebrating new year.  Satuditha is an act that shows the important charitable side of Burmese culture.

Myanmars Water Festival Thingyan New Year Festival Myanmars Water Festival

May Day (Labor Day)  (1st of May)  

May Day or Labor day is a national holiday. Known as a commemoration of the achievements of the labor movement.

Full Moon Day of Kasong – First full moon in the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar

Buddha Purnima is the most sacred day in the Buddhist calendar and the most important festival celebrated with great enthusiasm.

The first full moon in the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar marks the exact date of Vesak. The date varies from year to year in the Gregorian calendar but is typically in May.

Although Buddhists regard every full moon as sacred, the moon of the month of Vesak has special significance. On this day Buddha was born, attained enlightenment (Nirvana), and attained Parinirvana (Nirvana-after-death of the body) when he died.

 

Burmese Martyrs’ Day ( 19th of July)  

The Martyrs’ Day, also known as Arzarni Day, is a public holiday in Myanmar on July 19th. The day marks the assassination of Aung San and several other cabinet members in 1947.

On the 19th of July 1947 gunmen went into a cabinet meeting at the Secretariat in downtown Yangon. They shot dead Aung San and seven other key leaders of the interim government. U saw, a political rival planned the assassination.  U Saw  found guilty and executed a few months later

Every Year on the 19th of July at 10.37 am, car horns are sound in the streets of Myanmar. It marks the exact time of the shooting. High-level government officials visiting the Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Yangon. The day is dedicated to Aung San and the other seven leaders, who were killed here.

 

Eid ul-Adha Day in Myanmar  (begin of August)

Known as Eid al-Adha, Eid ul Adha, Id-ul-Azha, Id-ul-Zuha, Hari Raya Haji or Bakr-id; the ‘Feast of Sacrifice’ is the most important feast of the Muslim calendar.

The day celebrate the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael in submission to Allah’s command. He was stopped by Allah before.

Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar. As the exact day is based on lunar sightings, the date may vary between countries.

The giving of charity in the form of money, food or clothes to the homeless or poor is a key tradition of Eid al Adha.

 

Full Moon Day of Waso (end of July – begin of August)

Also known as Dhammasetkya Day, this public holiday takes place on the full moon day of Waso, the fourth month in the Burmese calendar. It usually falls in July in the Western calendar.

The day marks the start of Buddhist lent and the anniversary of Buddha’s first sermon on the Four Noble Truths.

Pilgrims throughout the country gather wild flowers to offer at pagodas, and offer new robes to monks. During the period of Buddhist Lent, many Buddhists will abstain from eating meat, drinking alcohol or smoking.

 

Thadingyut Festival / Full Moon of Thadingyut (end of October)

The Festival of Lights marks Buddha’s return to earth and signifies the end of Buddhist Lent. Thadingyut holiday is the second most popular festival in Myanmar after Thingyan Festival.

This public holiday / festival in Myanmar takes place on the full moon day of Thadingyut, the seventh month in the Burmese calendar. The Thadingyut Festival lasts for three day from the day before the full moon through to the day after the full moon.

Devout Buddhists celebrate the descent of the Lord Buddha from the heavens as locals will decorate their houses with colorful lights, organize parties and partake in various events.

This is also the time to pay homage to monks, parents, teachers and the elderly, asking them for forgiveness for any wrongdoings, one has done over the past year.

 

Deepavali in Myanmar (mid of October)

Diwali (Deepavali (deep – lamp, vali – array)) takes place on the darkest night (the first night of the new moon) in the month of Kartik in the Hindu calendar. The festival is a time for rejoicing and renewal. Celebrations revolve around the triumph of good over evil, purity over impurity, light over darkness.

Diwali marks the return of Lord Rama, who was the seventh incarnation of Vishnu, from a fourteen-year exile.

 

Tazaungdaing / Tazaungmone Festival (end of November)

This festival marks the end of the rainy season in Myanmar and this public holiday in Myanmar takes place on the full moon day of Tazaungmone, the eighth month in the Burmese calendar. It usually falls in November in the Western calendar.

There are lots of events such as

  • providing robe and various requisites to monks at Ka-htain, Matho Thingan or Robe Weaving contest. A deeply-religious celebration sees many Burmese moving from their houses to temples and monasteries to offer new robes and other necessities to Buddhist monks (Khatein ceremony).
  • Hot Air Balloon Flying Festival all in this eventful month. Across Myanmar, hot-air balloons are lit with candles and released into the night sky.
  • The number nine is a lucky number in Myanmar. 9,999 candles are lit up as offerings to Buddha in the Chaukhtatgyi Paya Pagoda on the night of the full moon day of Tazaungmone.

 

National Day in Myanmar (late November to early December)

Myanmar’s National Day celebrations original are all about remembering the hardship and unrest under British ruling that commenced in 1920 and eventually led to the country’s independence in 1948. National Day is an annual public holiday in Myanmar.

But in 1920, on the tenth day following the full-moon day of Tazaungmone on the Burmese lunar calendar, students from the Rangoon and Judson Colleges began protests against the British administration’s Rangoon University Act of 1920.

The protests ignited a call for nationalism in the students, the basis of which formed the key elements of the movement for independence.

more detail

 

Summary

Day Name Date(2020) Number of Days Remarks
New Year’s Day 1 January 1 day
Independence Day 4 January 1 day Marks independence from British Empire in 1948.
Union Day 12 February 1 day Anniversary of the Panglong Agreement in 1947.
Peasants’ Day 2 March 1 day a day to mark and honour the contribution of agriculture and farming to Myanmar.
Full Moon Day of Tabaung 8 March 1 day Tabaung Pwè Pagoda Festivals.
Armed Forces Day 27 March 1 day Formerly Resistance Day (against the Japanese occupation in 1945).
Myanmar New Year Holidays 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 16, 17 April 8 days Pre-Thingyan Day, Commencing Day to Prime Day, End of Thingyan, Myanmar New Year Day.
May Day 1 May 1 day Worker’s Day.
Full Moon Day of Kason 6 May 1 day Anniversary of the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha celebrated by watering the Bodhi tree.
Martyrs’ Day 19 July 1 day Commemorates the assassination of Aung San and several other cabinet members in 1947.
Start of Buddhist Lent 3 August 1 day Full Moon Day of Waso
Thadingyut Holidays

End of Buddhist Lent

29, 30, 31 October

1, 2 November

5 days Pre-Full Moon Day, Full Moon Day of Thadingyut, Post-Full Moon Day

(Festival of Lights)

Tazaungdine Holidays 27,28,29,30 November 4 days Pre-Full Moon Day, Full Moon Day Of Tazaungmon
National Day 9

December

1 day Anniversary of the first university students strike in 1920.
Christmas Day 25 December 1 day The Birthday of Jesus Christ.
New Year’s Eve 31 December 1 day
Eid ul-Adha 1 August 1 day Eid ul-Adha Day and Deepavali Day will be separately announced on the days they will fall on.

Union Government

Deepavali 14 October 1 day
Kayin New Year Day Will not fall in 2020
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Colorful costume in Myanmar / BurmaThere is a saying that Myanmar celebrates a festival every month. Fortunately
our guests there are, even more, spread across the whole country throughout the year. This affords visitors a wonderful opportunity to gain firsthand insight into the living culture of Myanmar.

You can calculate the exact dates of the festivals according to the Myanmar lunar calendar. Please check with us for details.

Pagoda festivals are like country fairs, while nat (spirit) ceremonies are accompanied by plenty of music, dancing, and eating.

January-February

  • Ananda Temple Festival, Bagan, one of the biggest festivals in the country, begins seven days before the full moon day of the lunar month of Python.
  • Naga New Year Festival requires bookings weeks ahead as it is held in very remote villages, usually a few days before January 15.

February-March

  • Shwesettaw Pagoda Festival, on the banks of Mann Chaung Creek in Magwe Division, starts on the fifth waxing moon day of Tabodwe and ends after Myanmar New Year in April.
  • Kyaik Khauk Pagoda Festival occurs in Thanlyin, a 30-minute drive from Yangon, beginning seven days before the full moon day of Tabodwe.

March-April

  • Kekku Pagoda Festival in Shan State starts three or four days before the full moon day of Tabaung. Pa-O people gather to pay homage to the shrines they hold most holy.
  • Mawtinsoun Pagoda Festival, on the southwestern coast of Myanmar, can be reached by boat from Pathein. It begins seven days before the full moon day of Tabaung.

Colorful Festivals in Myanmar / Burma

Colorful Festivals in Myanmar / Burma

Colorful Festivals in Myanmar / Burma

 

 

 

 

 

April-May

  • Shwemawdaw Pagoda Festival in Bago starts on the eighth waxing moon day of Taegu.
  • The four-day Thingyan Water Festival precedes Myanmar New Year, which usually falls on April 17. All over the country, roadside platforms are built from which young people hose down revelers in passing cars. People carry water guns or buckets to douse anyone seen on the street.

June-July

  • Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay hosts a cane-ball (chin) festival that starts on the first waxing day of Nayon and lasts for a full month,  attracting players from around the country.
  • Robe offering ceremonies, no vitiation ceremonies, and other religious rituals take place from April until the beginning of Lent on the full moon day of Waso in June or July.

July-August

  • Taungbyone Nat Festival near Mandalay begins on the eighth waxing moon day of Wagaung and lasts a week. This is the biggest spirit festival in Myanmar, with mediums and devotees coming from all over the country to take part.
  • Yadana Gu Nat Festival carries on when the Taungbyone Festival ends. It takes place on the banks of Taungthaman Lake in Amarapura, near Mandalay.

Colorful Festivals in Myanmar / Burma

September-October

  • Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival at Inle Lake,Shan State, kicks off on the first waxing moon day of Thadingyut. The task of carrying sacred Buddha images on a barge from village to village around the lake lasts 18 days.
  • Shwezigon Pagoda Festival, Bagan, begins on the first waxing moon day of Thadingyut. Of special interest is the full moon day ritual of offering filled alms bowls to hundreds of monks and novices.
  • Kyauktawgyi Pagoda in Mandalay hosts a four-day festival ending on the day after the full moon day of Thadingyut.
  • Three-day festivals of light marking the end of Buddhist Lent are held throughout the country, starting from the day ahead to the day after the full moon day of Thadingyut.
  • The Dancing Elephant Festival in Kyaukse, near Mandalay, draws teams of dancers wearing cloth elephant costumes. The two-day festival begins a day before the full moon day of Thadingyut.

October -November

  • Peoples celebrate Dipavali Light at Hindu temples all over the country.
  • The Fire Balloon Competition in Taunggyi, Shan State, starts on the 10th waxing moon day of Tazaungmone and lasts six days. Peoples judge the Balloons on basis of size, style, design, and their ability to stay aloft for long periods. On the night of the full moon, Taunggyi residents hold a parade in which they carry lanterns.

 

Colorful Festivals in Myanmar / Burma

November-December

  • Peoples celebrate Robe weaving contests all over the country and are a major event at Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. On the night before the full moon day of Tazaungmone, teams of weavers compete to finish huge robes during the night, to be offered to Buddha images at dawn the next day.
  • Popa Nat Festival near Bagan goes on for six days starting on the full moon day of Nadal.
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  • Peoples celebrate December 31 at Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock) with devotees lighting thousands of candles at the shrine in the evening.
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