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Read this page with Myanmar Script
Festivals, Holidays & Celebrations in Myanmar (Sortable)
International New Year's Day nine2-ngan2 da1-ga2 hnit-thit-ku3 nay1
Independence Day loot-lut-yay3 nay1
Kayin New Year ka1-yin2 hnit-thit-ku3
Chinese New Year ta1-yoat hnit-thit-ku3
Union Day pyi2-doun2-zu1 nay1
Peasants' Day toun2-dthu2-leare2 dtha1-ma3 nay1
Tabaung Full Moon Day da1-boun3 la1 byay1 nay1
Armed Forces Day tut-ma1-dau2 nay1
Water Festial thin3-jan2
Burmese New Year myan2-ma2 hnit-thit-ku3
Labor's Day a-loat-tha1-ma3 nay1
Kasone Full Moon Day ka1-hsone2 la1 byay1 nay1
Martyr's Day ah2-za2-ni2 nay1
Warso Full Moon Day wa2-zo2 la1 byay1 da1-ma2 set-kja2 nay1
Abhidhamma Day dtha1-din3 joot
Da Zaung Daing da1-zoun2-dine2
National Day a-myo3-tha3 nay1
Christmas kha1-rit-sa1-mut

Extra Months and Sabbath Days

Extra Wa2-Zo2 Months were added in those years
English Calendar Myanmar Calendar Year
July 1915 1277
July 1918 1280
July 1920 1282
July 1923 1285
July 1926 1288
July 1929 1291
July 1931 1293
July 1934 1296
July 1937 1299
July 1939 1301
July 1942 1304
July 1945 1307
July 1948 1310
July 1950 1312
July 1953 1315
July 1955 1317
July 1958 1320
July 1961 1323
July 1964 1326
July 1966 1328
July 1969 1331
July 1972 1334
July 1974 1336
July 1977 1339
July 1980 1342
July 1982 1344
July 1985 1347
July 1988 1350
July 1991 1353
July 1993 1355
July 1996 1358
July 1999 1361
July 2001 1363
July 2004 1366
July 2007 1369
July 2010 1372
July 2012 1374
Based on 100 years Calendar (Hnit-Ta1-Ya2 Pyet-ga1-dain2) published in Myanmar.

Each Burmese calendar month la1 (which means moon) is broken into before or after the Full Moon Day starting from New Moon Day. New Moon Day (waxing of the moon) is the first night the moon appears as a crescent in the night sky after the moonless night. Each month starts with the New Moon Day, or la1 zun3.

la1 zun3 days are counted from 1 up to 13 or 14 depending on the month having 29 days or 30 days until the Full Moon Day. For example, la1 zun3 chout yet nay1 refers to sixth (chout) day after the New Moon Day where nay1 means "Day" and yet is the measure word for the number of days.

Full Moon Day is known as la1 byay1 nay1 where pyay1 refers to "be full" or "to be filled up completely".

The days after the Full Moon Day known as la1 zoat (waning of the moon) are then counted from 1 up to 13 or 14 until the Moonless Night. la1 zoat ta1-yet nay1 refers to the first day after the Full Moon Day where ta1 is how "one" tit is pronounced when followed by the measure word yet or other multiple words. (E.g. multiple word 100X ta1-ya2 means one hundred.)

The day of Moonless Night is known as la1 gweare2 nay1 where kweare2 is used to describe the view hidden or obstructed by something. The associated word kweare2 loon2 means to pass away (i.e, someone dies.)

Devout Buddhists in Myanmar observe Sabbath Day (u1-boat nay1) which falls on Full Moon Days, the days of Moonless Nights, and every 8th day after the Full Moon Days and Moonless Nights. That means there are four u1-boat nay1 in a month, or roughly one every week.

During u1-boat nay1, people meditate, say prayers, send loving-kindness in all directions to all beings, listen to Dhamma talks by the monks, and practice 5 precepts: (1) Not taking life. (2) Not taking what is not given. (3) Follow Right Speech. (4) Refrain from sexual misconducts. (5) Refrain from consumption of alcohol. Some Buddhists also fast for at least half a day (after noon time), or take vegetarian food thet-thut loot sa3 ja1 deare2 during u1-boat nay1.

The word thet-thut loot is made up of the words life + kill + free. It means free from killing.

Lesson 26: Festivals, Holidays, and Celebrations in Myanmar

To every thing there is a season,
And a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose;

A time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew;

A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;

A time of war, and a time of peace.

- Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

Humanity has passed through an incredible year. It was not a time to celebrate. It was not a time to dance. It was a time to refrain from embracing, and it was a time to pluck up that which was planted. It was a time to put on facemasks. It was a time to wash hands. And it was a time to cancel flights under the heaven. Due to Covid-19, festivals and celebrations may be scaled down this year.

Judson Church in Yangon

Merry Christmas!

For minority ethnic groups such as Kayin, Kachin, Chin as well as some Burmese, December is the time to celebrate Christmas. Christmas Day is an official holiday in Myanmar. Yes, in Myanmar there are Christmas celebrations.

myan2-ma2 — Myanmar (noun)

pyi2 — Country (noun)

hma2 — at (postpositional marker)

kha1-rit-sa1-mut — Christmas (noun)

loat — do (verb)

ja1 — plural (particle)

dtha1 la3 — ? (ppm + particle)

myan2-ma2 pyi2 hma2 kha1-rit-sa1-mut loat ja1 dtha1 la3Do people celebrate Christmas in Myanmar?

loat — do (verb)

ja1 — plural (particle)

da2 bau1 — of course! (particle)

Loat ja1 da2 bau1Of course we/they do!

How to say "to celebrate" in Burmese?

The formal word for "to celebrate (verb)" in Burmese is kjin3-pa1. For example, the interviewer on the TV or radio might ask the same question using kjin3-pa1 in place of loat as follow:

myan2-ma2 — Myanmar (noun)

pyi2 — Country (noun)

hma2 — at (postpositional marker)

kha1-rit-sa1-mut — Christmas (noun)

kjin3-pa1 — celebrate (verb)

ja1 — plural (particle)

ba2 — polite soften tone (particle)

dtha1 la3 — ? (ppm + particle)

myan2-ma2-pyi2 hma2 kha1-rit sa1-mut kjin3-pa1 ja1 ba2 dtha1 la3Do people celebrate Christmas in Myanmar?

I can formally answer as follow:

Hote-keare1 ba2 — Yes (yes + polite soften tone)

myan2-ma2 — Myanmar

pyi2 — Country

hma2 — at

kha1-rit-sa1-mut — Christmas

kjin3-pa1 — celebrate

ja1 — plural

ba2 deare2 — affirmation. (polite soften tone + affirmative)

Hote-keare1 ba2... myan2-ma2-pyi2 hma2 kha1-rit-sa1-mut kjin3-pa1 ja1 ba2 deare2Yes, we do celebrate Christmas in Myanmar

Myanmar Calendar System and Months in Burmese

Myanmar Calendar is based on Lunar system which has alternating months with 29 days and 30 days, and a total of 12 months in a (normal) year. Simple calculation shows that it all adds up to only 354 days in a year, which is much less than approximately 365 days for the earth to go around the sun. Since the weather and regular seasons on earth more or less follow the solar calendar rather than the lunar months, that must have been a problem for farmers who must grow crops at the regular intervals such as at the start of monsoon season around mind-June every year.

In order to make up for loss days in a year, Burmese Calendar adds an extra month every 3 years known wa2 htut deare2. Basically, du1-ta1-ya1 wa2-zo2 (Second wa2-zo2 month) always falls around July every 3 years or so. In the long run, even that is not sufficient to make up for the loss days, so the interval of adding an extra month is sometimes reduced to 2 years known as wa2 ji3 htut deare2.

According to some elders, wa2 ji3 htut deare2 occurs roughly every 10 years interval in addition to wa2 htut deare2 at every 3 year interval. Well, not exactly right. It has something to do with the frequency within the 19 years interval. You can read more about it here. I have included in this page the historic pattern of Myanmar Calendar adding an extra month for the last 100 years.

Burmese New Year starts around mid-April every year, and months are as follow:

Months in Myanmar Calendar
# Burmese
01da1-gu3 — Mid April after thin3-jan2 Water Festival
04wa2-zo2 — Extra month is added every 3 years and 2 years intervals

If you take a closer look at Myanmar Calendar with both International Dates and Burmese Months, another curious thing you will find is that the days 1,2,3,4 in Burmese only go up to 14. Please refer to u1-boat nay1 explained here.

The year AD 2012 is the year 1374 in Myanmar Calendar.

Days in Myanmar Calendar
English AUDIO

Festivals, Celebrations, and Public Holidays in Myanmar for 2021

Since traditional Burmese festivals follow the lunar calendar, most except for the Water Festival and Burmese New Year fall on different Gregorian dates every year. Buddhist festivities mostly fall on the full moon day. The following table shows Myanmar public holidays (Dates shown in red), festivals, and celebrations tentatively scheduled for the year 2021.

Some public holidays such as Independence Day, Martyrs' Day, and Christmas follow the Gregorian Calendar, and fall on the same date every year. The most noticeable changes for 2018 and 2019 were reduction of Myanmar Water Festival and New Year from 10 days to 5. The lost holidays were made up by 2 extra days of Thadingyut in October, Tazaungdaing eve in November plus International New Year's eve and New Year's Day. Christmas eve has become a holiday for the first time in 2021.

Important Days in Myanmar (2021)
Date Event
January 01 International New Year's Day
နိုင်ငံတကာနှစ်သစ်ကူးနေ့ | nine2-ngan2 da1-ga2 hnit-thit-ku3 nay1
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide & around the World
January 04 Independence Day
လွတ်လပ်ရေးနေ့ | loot-lut-yay3 nay1
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
January 13 Ethnic Kayin (Karen) New Year
ကရင်နှစ်သစ်ကူး | ka1-yin2 hnit thit ku3
ကရင်ပြည်နယ်၊ ရန်ကုန်တိုင်း | Kayin State and Yangon
January 13 - February 11 Ananda Pagoda Festival
အနန္ဒာဘုရားပွဲ | a-nun2-da2 pfa1-ya3 pweare3
ပုဂံ | Bagan
The whole month of ပြာသို | pya2 tho2.
January Ethnic Kachin Manaw Festival
ကချင်ရိုးရာမနောပွဲတော် | ka1-chin2 yo3-ya2 ma1-nau3 pweare3 dau2
မြစ်ကြီးနား၊ ကချင်ပြည်နယ် | Myitkyina, Kachin State (Dates to be determined)
Structures and poles in Manaw Festival have some resemblance to Totem Poles of First Nation People in Vancouver, Canada.
(Watch YouTube Video)
February 10 - February 12 Ethnic Naga New Year
နာဂရိုးရာနှစ်သစ်ကူးပွဲတော် | na2-ga1 yo3-ya2 hnit-thit-ku3 pweare3 dau2
လဟယ်၊ လေရှိုး | La-Hair, Lay-Show
(Watch YouTube Video)
February 12 Chinese Lunar New Year
တရုတ်နှစ်သစ်ကူး | ta1-yoat hnit-thit ku3
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide & around the World for Chinese people
Private Celebrations for 3-4 days
February 12 Union Day
ပြည်ထောင်စုနေ့ | pyi2-doun2-zu1 nay1
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
February 12 - March 12 Sticky Rice Cooking Festival
ထမနဲပွဲ | hta1-ma1-neare3 pweare3
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
Anyday during တပို့တွဲ | da1-bo1-dweare3 month
February 14 Valentine's Day
ချစ်သူများနေ့ | chit-thu2 mya3 nay1
ကမ္ဘာအနှံ့ | around the World
Getting popular in Myanmar and increasingly commercialized.
February 16 - April 17 Shwe Settaw Pagoda Festival
ရွှေစက်တော်ဘုရားပွဲ | shway2-set-tau2 pfa1-ya3 pweare3
မင်းဘူး | Minbu
February 19 - February 27 Kyike Khouk Pagoda Festival
ကျိုက်ခေါက်ဘုရားပွဲတော် | kjite-khout pfa1-ya3 pweare3 dau2
သန်လျှင် | Thanlyin (also known as ta1-nyin2)
February 25 - February 26 Mahamuni Pagoda Festival
မဟာမုနိဘုရားပွဲ | ma1-ha2-mu1-ni1 pfa1-ya3 bweare3
မန္တလေး | Mandalay
On the eve and full moon day of တပို့တွဲ | da1-bo1-dweare3 month.
February 26 Ethnic Kayin Fire Festival
ကရင်ရိုးရာမီးပုံပွဲ | ka1-yin2 yo3-y2 mi3-bone2 pweare3
ကျုံဒိုး၊ ဘားအံ၊ ကရင်ပြည်နယ် | Hpa-an, Kayin State
Dance around the bonfire on the full moon night of တပို့တွဲ | da1-bo1-dweare3 month
March 02 Peasants Day
တောင်သူလယ်သမားနေ့ | toun2-dthu2 leare2 dtha1-ma3 nay1
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
March 13 Maw Tin Soon Pagoda Festival
မော်တင်စွန်းဘုရားပွဲတော် | mau2-tin2-soon3 pfa1-ya3 pweare3 dau2
ဟိုင်းကြီးမြို့နယ်ခွဲ | Hine Gyi
March 15 Ko Gyi Kyaw Nat (Spirit) Festival
ကိုကြီးကျော်နတ်ပွဲ | ko2-ji3 jau2 nut pweare3
ပခန်း၊ ရေစကြို | Pa Khan, Yay Za Gyo
Drunken spirit. (See Music Video)
March 20 Inn Taw Gyi Pagoada Festival
အင်းတော်ကြီးဘုရားပွဲတော် | in3-dau2-ji3 pfa1-ya3 pweare3 dau2
မိုးညင်းမြို့နယ် | Moe Nyin
March 21 Pyi Tau Pyan Pagoda Festival
ပြည်တော်ပြန်ဘုရားပွဲတော် | pyi2-dau3-pyan2 pfa2-ya3 pweare3-dau2
ဇလွန်၊ ဧရာဝတီတိုင်းဒေသကြီး | Zalon, Ayeyarwaddy
March 26 - March 29 Tabaung Full Moon Festival
တပေါင်းပွဲတော် | da1-boun3 pweare3 dau2
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
Full moon night falls on Saturday, March 27.
March 27 Armed Forces Day
တပ်မတော်နေ့ | tut-ma1-dau2 nay1
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
(Watch Parade on YouTube)
April 13 - April 16 Thingyan Water Festival
အတာသင်္ကြန်ပွဲတော် | a-ta2 dtha1-jan2 pweare3 dau2
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
April 17 - April 19 Myanmar New Year
မြန်မာနှစ်သစ်ကူး | myan2-ma2 hnit thit ku3
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
The day after the Water Festival. Holidays till April 19.
April 19 - April 26 Shwemawdaw Pagoda Festival
ရွှေမော်ဓော | shway2-mau2-dau3 pfa1-ya3 pweare3
ပဲခူးတိုင်းဒေသကြီး | Bago
Starting from တန်ခူး | da1-gu3 8th till full mooon night.
This Pagoda at 114 metres (374 ft) in height is tallest in Myanmar, and taller than Shwedagon Pagoda at at 98 metres (322 ft).
May 01 May Day (International Workers' Day)
ကမ္ဘာ့အလုပ်သမားနေ့ | ga1-ba1 a-loat-tha1-ma3 nay1
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide & around the World.
May 13 Poppa Spirit Festival
ပုပ္ပါးနတ်ပွဲ | pope-pa3 nut-pweare3
ပုပ္ပါးတောင် | Mount Poppa
May 25 Kasone Full Moon (Vesak) Day
ကဆုန်ညောင်ရေသွန်းပွဲ | ka1-hsone2 nyoun2-yay2-thoon3 pweare3
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
Buddhist holiday when devotess pour water on Bo trees at famous pagodas, especially Shwedagon Pagoda.
May 25 Town Yoe Lantern Festival
တောင်ရိုးမီးထွန်းပွဲတော် | toun2-yo3 mi3 htoon3 pweare3 dau2
ပင်းတယ | Pindaya
Ethnic festival in Shan State on the full moon night of ကဆုန် | ka1-hsone2 month.
May 25 Shitthaung Pagoda Festival
ရှစ်သောင်းဘုရားပွဲတော် | shit-thoun3 pfa1-ya3 pweare3 dau2
မြောက်ဦး၊ ရခိုင် | Mrauk U, Rakhine
Shitthaung means 80,000. Buddhist celebrations at ancient Rakhine City on the full moon night of ကဆုန် | ka1-hsone2 month.
June 17 - July 01 Abhidhamma Recitation Events
နယုန်စာတော်ပြန်ပွဲ | na1-yone2 sa2-dau2-pyan2 pweare3
Non-stop all night Recitation of Buddhist Scriptures in Pali by the learnt monks for 15 days starting from 8th of that month. (Watch YouTube Video)
June 17 Thi Ho Shin Pagoda Festival
သီဟိုရှင်ဘုရားပွဲတော် | thi2-ho2-shin2 pfa1-ya3 pweare3 dau2
ပခုက္ကူ၊ မကွေးတိုင်းဒေသကြီး | Pa-Khoak-Ku, Magway.
On the 8th of the month of နယုန် | na1-yone2.
July 17 - July 19 Se Taw Lay Phaung Taw U Pagoda Festival
ဆည်တော်လေး ဖောင်တော်ဦးစေတီဘုရားပွဲ | hseare2-dau2-lay3 pfoun2-dau2-u3 zay2-de2 pfa1-ya3 pweare3
မန္တလေး | Mandalay
July 19 Martyrs' Day
အာဇာနည်နေ့ | ah2-za2-ni2 nay1
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
July 23 Dhammasakyar Day
ဝါဆိုလပြည့် | wa2-zo2 la1 pyay1 Waso Full Moon ဓမ္မာစကြာနေ့ | da1-ma2 set-kja2 nay1
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
Celebration of the first sermon of the Buddha.
July 23 Shin Pin Sa Kyo Pagoda Festival
ရှင်ပင်စကြိုဘုရားပွဲတော် | shin2-pin2 sa1-kjo2 pfa1-ya3 pweare3 dau2
စလေ၊ မကွေးတိုင်းဒေသကြီး | Salay, Magui
July 23 Fish feeding Festival
ငါးစာကြွေးပွဲ | nga3 za2 kjway3 pweare3
ပွင့်ဖြူ၊ မကွေးတိုင်း‌‌‌‌ဒေသကြီး | Pwint Hpyu, Magui
July 23 Waso flower picking Festival
ဝါဆိုပန်းခူးပွဲတော် | wa2-zo2 pan3 khu3 pweare3 dau2
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
August 08 Shwe Kyoon Pin Spirit Festival
ရွှေကျွန်းပင်နတ်ပွဲ | shway2-kjoon3-bin2 nut pweare3
မင်းကွန်း၊ | Mingun
September 01 Yatanar Gu Spirit Festival
ရတနာဂူနတ်ပွဲ | ya1-da1-na2 gu2 nut pweare3
အမရပူရ၊ | Amarapura
September 21 Chinese Mid-Autumn Mooncake Festival
中秋节 (Zhongqiu jie ) on the full moon day.
Private celebrations for Chinese.
September 22 Boe Min Khaung Spirit Festival
ဘိုးမင်းခေါင်ပွဲတော် | bo3 min3 goun2 pweare3 dau2
ပုပ္ပါး၊ ကျောက်ပန်းတောင်း | Mount Poppa, Kyauk Padaung
October 06 - October 20 Shwezigon Pagoda Festival
ရွှေစည်းခုံဘုရားပွဲ | shway2-zi3-gome2 pfa1-ya3 pweare3
ညောင်ဦး၊ ပုဂံ၊ မန္တလေး | Nyaung U, Bagan, Mandalay
October 06 - October 20 Hpaung Daw U Pagoda Festival
ဖောင်တော်ဦးဘုရားပွဲ | pfoun2-dau2-u3 pfa1-ya3 pweare3
အင်းလေးကန် | Inle Lake
Pagoda Festival and boat race at popular tourist destination.
October 15 Mya Thaloon Pagoda Festival
မြသလွန်ဘုရားပွဲတော် | mya1-tha1-loon2 pfa1-ya3 pweare3 dau2
မကွေးမြို့ | Magui
October 19 Kyauk Tau Gyi Pagoda Festival
ကျောက်တော်ကြီးဘုရားပွဲ | Kyout-tau2-ji3 pfa1-ya3 pweare3
မန္တလေး | Mandalay
October 19 - November 21 Thadingyut Abhidhamma Holidays
သီတင်းကျွတ် | dtha1-din3-joot Lantern Festival
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
Full moon night is on the October 20th.
October 19 - October 20 Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival
ကျောက်ဆည်ဆင်ကပွဲ | kyout-hseare2 hsin2 ka1 pweare3
ကျောက်ဆည် | Kyaukse
October 20 Kyaikhtiyo (Golden Rock) Pagoda Festival
ကျိုက်ထီးရိုးဘုရားပွဲ | kjite hti3 yo3 pfa1-ya3 pweare3
ကျိုက်ထို | Kyaik Hto
Several days.
October 21 - November 18 Ka Htain (Kathina) Festival
ကထိန် | ka1-htain2 Festival
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
Exact date varies from place to place. Anyday between Thadingyut to Dazaungdaing.
November 13 Hot-air Balloon Festival
တောင်ကြီး၊ ရှမ်းပြည်နယ် | Taunggyi, Shan State around Inle Lake region
November 17 Robe Weaving Festival
မသိုးသင်္ကန်းရက်ပြိုင်ပွဲ | ma1-tho3 thin2-gun3 yet pyine2 pweare3
All night long monks' robe weaving competition.
ရွှေတိဂုံ၊ ရွှေဘုန်းပွင့်၊ ကျိုက္ကဆံ၊ ဗိုလ်တထောင် | Shwedagon Pagoda, Shwe Phone Pwint, Kyaik Ka San, Botahtaung
November 17 - November 18 Dazaungdaing Lantern Festival
တန်ဆောင်တိုင် | Ta1-zoun2 Dine2 နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
November 18 Offering of 9,000 Candles
ဆီမီးကိုးထောင်ပူဇော်ပွဲ | hsi2-mi3 ko3-htoun2 pu2-zau2 pweare3
ကိုးထပ်ကြီးဘုရား | Koe Htut Gyi Pagoda, Yangon
November 18 Kaung Hmu Tau Pagoda Festival
ကောင်းမှုတော်ဘုရားပွဲ | koun3-hmu1-dau2 pfa1-ya3 pweare3
စစ်ကိုင်း | Sagaing
November 28 National Day
အမျိုးသားနေ့ | a-myo3-dtha3 nay1
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
On the 10th day after the full moon day of တန်ဆောင်မုန်း | da1-zoun2-mone3.
December 04 Ethnic Shan New Year
ရှမ်းနှစ်သစ်ကူးပွဲတော် | shun3 hnit-thit-ku3 pweare3 dau2
တောင်ကြီး၊ ရှမ်းပြည်နယ် | Taunggyi, Shan State
On the first waxing day of the month of နတ်တော် | na1-dau2
December 04 Ethnic Pa-O New Year
ပအို (ပအိုဝ်း) နှစ်သစ်ကူးပွဲတော် | pa1-o2 hnit-thit-ku3 pweare3 dau2
သထုံ၊ မွန်ပြည်နယ် | Thaton, Mon State
On the first waxing day of the month of နတ်တော် | na1-dau2
Seventh largest ethnic minority reside in Kayin, Kayah, and Mon States.
December 18 Battle Going Celebrations
စစ်ထွက်ပွဲ | sit htwet pweare3
တောင်ပြုန်း၊ ပုသိမ်မြို့နယ် | Taung Pyong, Pathein
On the full moon day of နတ်တော် | na1-dau2
December 24 - December 25 Christmas
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide
Christmas eve is now a public holiday.
December 31 New Year's Eve
နိုင်ငံတကာနှစ်သစ်ကူးအကြိုနေ့ | nine2-ngan2 da1-ga2 hnit-thit-ku3 a-kjo2 nay1
နိုင်ငံအနှံ့ | Nationwide

Festivals, Holidays & Celebrations in Myanmar

Here is What Myanmar Thingyan looks like. I made this video.

Water festivals thin3-jan2 followed by Burmese New Year hnit-thit-ku3 around Mid-April are probably the most enjoyable and the most celebrated Myanmar holidays. There used to be as many as 10 straight holidays including Saturday and Sunday.

Starting from 2018, it was reduced to 5 days including weekends so that the fun does not disrupt official government business for a lengthy period. And then came 2020 when streets of Yangon eerily looked like a ghost town due to Covid-19 and stay-at-home order. If you plan to be in downtown Yangon in any other "normal" year, it is strongly advised against taking a flight during the water festivals, as the main roads to the Yangon International Airport from your hotel will be all clogged. Oh, yes, be prepared to get splashed by water if you go out in the street.

2017 Myanmar Thingyan

How do you wish a "Happy New Year" to a Burmese? Good Question. I guess Burmese people don't waste time wishing because we know for sure we are going to be happy, and New Year day will surely come whether you wish or not. Radio DJ's might say min2-ga1-la2 hnit thit ku3 ba2, but it is not a common collquial usage that Burmese people will say to each other.

Myanmar Traditions Once More

Give me once more in front of live audience. The ladies are dancing traditional Myanmar synchronized "Yain" Dance in tune with modern drum beats. This type of drum beat has become a norm in this time of the year. The first part of the song is oldie like from the 1930's. The ending part of re-mix is currently a popular Thingyan Water Festival Song which has become a classic.

Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Seriously, there is no Burmese phrase equivalent to "Kong Hee Fat Choi" in Cantonese, "Gong Xi Fa Cai" in Mandarin, or "Happy New Year" in English. You can just say, "Happy thin3-jan2 or dtha1-jan2, and any educated class will understand what you mean. You can expect song and dance and water splashing to continue for five days before the New Year Day.

Myanmar Thingyan Celebrations

Song & dance continue for 5 days during Myanmar Thingyan Water Festival and New Year. There can be up to 11 straight holidays including weekends. [28 seconds]

Posted by Naing Tinnyuntpu on Tuesday, May 3, 2016
အစ္စဏီ | Issani

Myanmar shares Chinese New Year Day, Christmas day, and International Workers' Day with some other Nations as official holidays. In addition, Muslims celebrate Eid Day or it-nay1 to mark the end of a month long fasting known as Ramadan and another Eid Day at different time of the year for the feast of appetizing curry beef or barbecue mutton kabab using excellent spices.

Those two days are known as Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji in Malaysia and Singapore. Hindu folks have their own Deepavali Day or de2-pa2-wa1-li2 nay1. At least in the old days, I had seen Hindu firewalking ceremonies around that time in Yangon. Yes, you must have guessed it right. nay1 refers to "day" in Burmese.

Kasone Full Moon Day or ka1-hsone2 la1 byay1 nay1 is known as Vesak Day in Malaysia and Singapore. It is the day of celebration for the Buddhists. This is the day the Buddha was born, reached enlightenment and pass away (to Nibbana).

After reaching enlightenment, the Buddha did not immediately start teaching. It took him about 49 days to comtemplate and review his findings. Dhammacakka means the Wheel of Dhamma or the doctrine in the Pali language. The motion of this Wheel has started when he preached his first sermon to a group of five ascetics. The event is celebrated as da1-ma2 set-kja2 nay1 which falls on Wazo Full Moon Day.

Burmese people celebrate dtha1-din3-joot, also known as Abhidhamma Day and da1-zoun2-dine2 to mark the end of rainy season with fire crackers and lighting up of candles and lanterns. The lanterns decorated in this tradition are remarkably similar to those used in Chinese mid-autumn lantern festival.

In Burmese tradition, Abhidhamma Day is supposed to be the day the Buddha taught Abhidhamma (higher learning) to beings in the heavenly world. Starting 2018, Thadingyut holidays are increased to three days, including on Thadingyut Eve and an extra holiday after the full moon day. Dazaungdaing is also increased to two days with an extra holiday on the eve. Those extra holdiays make up for holidays lost during mid-April water festival.

During those periods, thet-kji3 pu2-zau2 pweare3 are held where younger people pay respect to

thet-kj13 (the elders),
hsa1-ya2 (teachers), and
mi1-ba1 (parents).

Kathina Festival is known as ka1-htain2. It's somewhat like Buddhist version of Christmas with public display of presents on structures like Christmas trees, but the presents are for the monks. Lucky draws for the Buddhist monasteries are held anytime from after the dtha1-din3-joot full moon day to the full moon day of da1-zoun2-mone3 with money and daily necessities for the monks donated by the lay people. The actual date may be different from community to community even in the same town.

Around the same period, some communities will have nate-bun2 zay3, which is similiar lucky draws for children of all ages.

pweare3 means festival. pfa1-ya3 bweare3 are festivals held in pagodas at night, usually during cool months after the rainy season, which also happen to be "tourist" season in Myanmar. Temperature in highland regions around this time can drop below freezing point at night.

As for other religious activities Myanmar, devout Buddhists observe u1-boat-nay1 individually, or as a group every week, while Christians attend the pfa1-ya3 joun3 (Church) every Sunday, and Muslims say their prayers in the ba1-li2 (Mosque) every Friday. u1-boat nay1, is further explained in this page.

For those doing research for your school project, etc., I might as well include other historic holidays. National Day known as a-myo3-tha3 nay1 falls on the 10th of Burmese calendar month da1-zoun2-mone3 after the Full Moon Day. That's the anniversary to mark the strike against the British rule by the University students back in 1920.

tut-ma1-dau2 nay1 (Armed Forces Day) which falls on March 27th was previously known by the name of tau2-hlan2-yay3 nay1 (Revolution Day). Back in 1945, near the end of World War II on that day, Burmese Army switched side and fought back the Japanese.

pyi2-doun2-zu1 nay1 known as Union Day in English (on February 12th) was the day Bogyoke (General) Aung San met with ethnic leaders (most importantly the Shan people) in the place called Pinlone where they agreed to join the Union of Burma as a trial run for 10 years after independence. Burma was still under British rule.

Unfortunately, General Aung San (father of Nobel Laureate and NLD Leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi) did not live to see loot-lut-yay3 nay1 Independence day on January 4th 1948, as he was assassinated a year earlier on July 19th. The anniversary of that day is known as ah2-za2-ni2 nay1, or Martyr's Day in English.

Myanmar also observes some other events that are not public holidays. Myanmar Women's Day, for example, has been observed since 3 July 1996. The event is organized by the Myanmar National Committee for Women's Affairs (MNCWA), which was founded on 3 July 1996. This organization was renamed as Myanmar Women Affairs Federation on 20 December 2003. Annual awards are given to honor outstanding women with focus on excellence in business, literature, sports and education.

Making a New Year's resolution in Burmese

Many Westerners have the tradition of making New Year's Resolutions. Having a good life with abundance of food, many wish to lose weight in the coming year. Do Myanmar people make New Year's Resolutions? It's like asking: "Do Myanmar people celebrate Mother's Day?" Yes, we do. Every day of the year is Mother's Day. Every day of the year is Father's Day. And every moment of the day is the opportunity for us as human beings to improve, to change, to celebrate life, to start afresh, to appreciate what the World has to offer to us here & now, to abandon what is evil, and to do what is good. With that note, I'd like to wish you a very Happy New Year — every day of the year!

Mother's Day

No, it's not in May and it's not a public holiday. But, with more people spreading the trend on the social media such as facebook, celebrating Myanmar Mother's Day has gained momentum in 2016 in honor of mothers on the full Moon day of the month of pya2-tho2. In 2016, it falls on Sunday, January 24th. If more people participate in this trend, it will be in the same month on the full moon day in Burmese Calendar from now on. OK, So, every day is Mother's day and we are happy every day, but that day is even MORE SPECIAL and we are 150% happier. Isn't that great? What's more? Some of us will again celebrate Mother's Day on the Second Sunday of May, as this too has become a trend promoted by the commercial business to increase sales.

MPT Mother's day Promotion