Besides Myanmar’s scenic beauty and rich cultural heritage, another wonderful experience that tourists can get to enjoy here are its vibrant and colourful festivals. Below are three of the big festivals that are celebrated with great excitement by the people of Myanmar during the summer season
Thingyan marks the beginning of Myanmar’s New Year and it is celebrated with great excitement by the residents of this country. In earlier times, the dates of this festival were calculated as per the traditional Myanmar lunisolar calendar but these days it celebrated on the fixed Roman calendar dates. This is a four day festival which begins on April 13 and continues till April 16. These four days are considered as the most important holidays in Myanmar. During Thingyan people enjoy themselves by throwing water at each other and dancing to music.
Buddhism is the most popular religion in Myanmar and thus Buddhist festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm here. The Bo Tree Watering Festival is celebrated in the Buddhist month of Kason which corresponds with the month of May as per the Roman calendar. Buddhists regard Kason to be a very important month and especially the full moon day falling in this month has great significance. This is because this is the day when Gautama Buddha was born. It is also considered the day when the first Bodhi tree arose from the ground to assure the people that Gautam Buddha is coming to enlighten them. Bodhi tree is greatly connected to Buddhism because this is the kind of tree under which Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment. Therefore, on every full moon day of the Kason month Buddhist people march to the Bodhi tree or to the pagodas and pour scented water as a holy ritual
In the month of June, which corresponds with the Buddhist month Nayon, a very important Buddhist festival named Tipitaka takes place in Myanmar. This is the time of the year when monsoon is at its full swing in Myanmar and during this time scriptural examinations for monks and nuns are held. The knowledge of Buddha’s teachings is tested through both written as well as recitation exams so that the Word of Buddha can stay alive in its purest form. The people of Myanmar generously donate to ensure that all the candidates get all the needed amenities and can stay in comfort while focusing on their exams. The Tipitaka exams are held nationwide and are organized and administered by both the Government of Myanmarand religious associations.