Celebrating Local Myanmar Festivals
Famed for the scintillating golden towers of the Shwedagon Pagoda and jewellery at the Bogyoke Aung San market, Myanmar’s former capital is also known for unique festivals such as the Full Moon Day of Kason and the Thadingyut Festival of Lights.
Commemorating the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and attainment of Nirvana, the Full Moon Day of Kason (Kason Nyaung Ye Thun) usually falls in May. Widely celebrated in Yangon, the festival is known for Maha Bodhi (banyan) tree watering ceremonies that represent the one where Buddha attained enlightenment.
Later in the year, the Thadingyut Festival of Lights in October marks the end of a three-month period during the Myanmar lunar calendar when monks study and meditate, and many Buddhists forgo alcohol, meat, and celebrations. Devotees visit Shwedagon Pagoda and other pagodas in Myanmar during Thadingyut for a lighting festival with 9,000 oil lamps. Young people pay respects and ask for forgiveness from their parents and elders, who bless them with good luck and gift money.
Here are some of the best locations in Yangon to catch the festive fun.