Ananda Pagoda Festival
This is one of the most famous pagoda festivals in Bagan. Ananda Pagoda holds its annual pagoda festival every January. The villagers from around Bagan come to the festival in traditional bullock carts and made camps for the whole duration of the festival. Many famous local theatrical troupes had come also to provide entertainment for the festival goers. There will be stores selling everything from foodstuff to agricultural implements.
As the dawn breaks on the Fullmoon Day of Pyatho the pilgrims are up and ready with their donations. The monks make their way between the donors lined up on both sides and all reverently place their donations in the monk’s hands.
There are flights to Bagan-NyaungOo Airport from Yangon or Mandalay. Tourist boats as well as normal passenger boats ply between Mandalay and Bagan via NyaungOo. Visitors can also drive to Bagan from Yangon or Mandalay by all-weather highways. Accommodations for all budget sizes, from luxury international standard to basic are available in Bagan. Visitors can definitely enjoy the traditional lifestyle of the locals of Bagan during the festival.
Ananda Pagoda Festival
Symbolizing the limitless wisdom of Buddha, there is a month long sanctified festival for the temple Ananda, the most beautiful one out of 2000 holy monuments in Bagan, Myanmar. It is usually falls on January every year. The busiest day of the festival is on the full-moon day of the lunar month. Villagers and pilgrims around Bagan roll in the sacred site of Ananda for the consecration.
This is also the best time to see not only the ritual of Buddhists but the festival is also meant for social gathering, reunification, propagation and perpetuation of the religion that is Buddhism. During the festival, walk around in sea of vendors and shops that sell traditional Myanmar food-staff and enjoy the local atmosphere in locality.
MahaMyat Muni Pagoda Festival
This festival falls on the full moon day of Thabodwe. This festival usually lasts for 2 days. Glutinous rice (which is a delicacy) contests are also held on the pagoda's platform. A variety of incense sticks are burnt for the Myanmar Buddha image on the full moon day. During this festival thousands of people from all over the country make the pilgrimage to the Mahamuni Pagoda. The temple is always the center of activities and during this festival it explodes with energy.
Locals from far and near come to pay homage and respect to the Buddha image and enjoy the festival. Many street vendors sell, Thanakha, Myanmar made toys, Mandalay food and many more. It is very crowded in the pagoda's compound.
Phaung Taw Oo Pagoda Festival
One of the famous principal shrines in Myanmar, this pagoda houses five small Buddha images. Once a year, in end Sept-early Oct., there is a pagoda festival during which the five Buddha images are rowed around the Lake in a colourfulbarge.Situated in Inle Lake, one of the most dazzling and magical places in Asia. It is held on a grand scale for 18 days, usually falls in October. Four Buddha Images out of five from Phaung-daw-oo Pagoda are carried on royal barge and conveyed around 14 villages on the Lake. The barge is towed by the boats of leg -rowers and hundreds of boats follow the procession. The large crowds of people gather on the lake-shores to celebrate the occasion. It is really a splendid sight.
ShweOo Min Pagoda Festival
PindayaShweOo Min cave Pagoda festival is held on and around Full moon day of Tabaung as well. It starts seven days before the full moon day. During the festival time.thousands of devotees come from villages around the area to the cave. A kind of pagoda mall is set up at the foot of the hill under big shady Banyan trees to sell local products.
Dancing Elephant Festival
Dancing Elephant Festival is also another famous festival in Myanmar. It is held in Kyaukse. near Mandalay. It is a marvelous performance of two men together to dance in rhythm. A huge elephant figure is made from bamboo and paper. Men take their places inside the figure and dance around the town to the accompaniment of Dobat and Drums. The elephant dancers circles three times at the foot of the hill to pay homage to the ShweThaLyaung Pagoda. It is a dance that requires precise rhythm and timing in order for the elephant dancers to maintain unity inside the elephant figure. People from far and near come to visit Kyaukse and watch the elephant dance.
Manuha Pagoda Festival
Manuha Pagoda Festival is held annually one day before the Full Moon Day of Tawtalin. Depending on the Lunar Calendar.the festival is held in end of September or start of October. Manuha Pagoda Festival is celebrated for three consecutive days.
During the festival.rice cakes and pickled winter melon are served to all comers from near and far. The Myinkaba region dwellers donate these to all visitors. This is apart of the traditional practice of this festival. This tradition is also believed to have been descended from the time of the King Manuha. Monks from many monasteries around the region are invited to the Manuha Pagoda and are offered rice on the morning of the Full Moon Day of Tawtalin.
The parade of colourful paper mache figures roam around the city during the festival. The locals create colourful and beautiful decorations of images such as the Manuha King himself. tigers. cows. elephants. horses. and even some stars of today. The number of representation varies up to hundred. The parade goes on until the end of the day.
Locals and foreign visitors enjoy the sight of the colourful paper mache figures and also the lifestyle of the Bagan locals. There are other entertainments such as ZatPwe and Anyeint at the night time. Villagers near and far never misses this opportunity of participating the Manuha Festival.
KyaikHtiyo Pagoda Festival
The famous legendary Pagoda on the Golden Rock about 160 Km from Yangon and 11 km of hiking from the base camp at Kyaikhto. Visitors can also go by car up to a point about a mile away from the Pagoda. This pagoda is situated on a rocky mountain 3615 ft above sea level. The Kyaikhtiyo pagoda is one of the most ancient and celebrated of all pagodas in Myanmar. It is situated in the vicinity of Kyaikhtotownship. Thaton district. The pagoda is said to have been built during the life-time of the Buddha over 2400 years ago.
The Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda Festival is a special festival of lights celebration. On the Full Moon Day of Thadingyut.locals offer the lighting of 9000 candles and 9000 flowers to the Biuddha. On the next morning.rice. sweets and other snacks are offered. The platform and passage of the pagoda are usually filled with visitors from all over the country. Tourists also find the golden rock pagoda magnificent. Thadingyut usually falls in October. depending on the lunar calendar. At such a time.the weather is cold up on the mountain.
During the festival time most of the local places and hotels around the pagoda are fully booked. Some people travel to the base of the mountain by car. and then hike up the mountain on foot. Some people climb the mountain by ferry buses. Some hike up with carriers.
Hot-air Balloon Festival
Taunggyi is the capital of the Southern Shan State and it lies 1.430 meters above the sea level and has a moderate climate. The most significant festival is the annual Tazaungdine Lighting Festival which is around October and November. Lu Ping festival commonly known as hot balloon festival celebrates by Pa O. one of the many ethnic groups in the region.
On the occasion people enjoy fun and merriment by holding firework-launching competitions. The firework is in the form of rockets. There is also hot balloons competitions on the day and night occasions. Day balloons are usually in the form of Pagodas. and animals such as elephant. dragon or ducks while the night balloons usually in the shape of rugby ball. huge elongated paper balls with small lighted multicolored paper lanterns hung around their sides and balloons would sting along fireworks and fire sticks which are set off mid-air fireworks.
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