Most festivals in Myanmar are based on the lunar calendar; check the official Ministry of Hotels & Tourism site for a more extensive list (
w

myanmartourism.org/festivals.htm).

Shwedagon Festival

Feb/March. The country’s biggest paya pwèh (temple festival) takes place at Shwedagon Paya in Yangon.

Thingyan

April 13–16. The water festival is the most popular in the calendar, marking New Year with a good soaking as temperatures soar. It also has a spiritual side, as it’s when the nat king visits the human world to record good and bad deeds. Hotels and transport are often booked solid.

Fire Balloon Festival

Nov. Daytime parades at this three-day event in Taunggyi, east of Inle Lake, include impressive animal-shaped hot-air balloons. At night, balloons are released with huge gondolas full of fireworks strapped underneath them, sometimes with predictably explosive results.

Shan New Year

Dec. Keep an eye open for the different ethnic groups’ new year celebrations around Dec and Jan. This one rotates between different Shan towns, and includes live bands, traditional dancing and – on Shan New Year’s Eve itself – fireworks and an inclusive party atmosphere.

Ananda Pahto festival

Dec/Jan. The paya pwèh at Ananda Pahto is the biggest in Bagan, running for the fortnight leading up to the full moon of Pyatho. For the last three days, hundreds of monks chant scriptures day and night.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Myanmar (Burma) features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Off the tourist trail in Southeast Asia: 5 underrated cities

Modern Bangkok, historical Hanoi and tourism-boom town Siem Reap — home to the world-famous Angkor Wat temples — are some of Southeast Asia's best drawcards…

21 Nov 2017 • Marco Ferrarese insert_drive_file Article
Myanmar: is it time for tourists to return?

Myanmar: is it time for tourists to return?

The largest, most diverse and least-known country in Southeast Asia, Myanmar is now firmly back on the tourist map after decades of isolation. It lures visit…

06 Nov 2017 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
In Buddha's footsteps: 15 evocative pictures of faith in Myanmar

In Buddha's footsteps: 15 evocative pictures of faith in Myanmar

Buddhism has ancient roots in Myanmar, and its influence is all pervasive – arguably more so than in any other Southeast Asian country. Everywhere you go you …

28 Oct 2016 • David Abram insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook