Myanmar Essential guide: Best Time To Visit Myanmar (BONUS Festival Calendar)
Wed, 02/05/2020 - 11:17
Come rain or shine, your Myanmar journey can be a great deal of difference. No one wants to spend a vacation during the gloomy days. On the other hand, a touch of sunlight combined with the festive atmosphere can bump up your travel to a large extent. Therefore, it’s always to look thoroughly into Myanmar climate before choosing the travel time.
And keep reading until the end of the article because we have a big bonus of the festival calendar for you. It will be way too fun to catch the right time for traditional festivals in Myanmar.
Burmese Weather Overview
The land of Myanmar is deemed to have a moderate climate, not as harsh or unpredictable as some other countries in the Southeast Asia region. Most of the territory is located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator. Moreover, it is under the influence of the south-west Asian monsoon.
The coastal areas have an average rainfall of 5,000 mm annually. Annual precipitation in the plains is nearly 2,500 mm, while the average annual rainfall in the central land, the driest part of the country, is less than 1,000 mm (39 in). The northern regions of the country have the coldest climates, with an average temperature of 21 degrees Celsius. Coastal and delta districts enjoy more heat with the average 32 degrees.
In addition, the climate is greatly affected by altitude. As a result, Himalayan foothills and mountain ranges in the Northernmost are usually cooler than the lowland and coastline of the North.
Seasons In Myanmar And The Best Time To Visit
The climate in Myanmar is characterized by two main seasons, similar to the majority of Southeast Asia. The dry season begins from October until May next year while the wet season runs through May/June to early October.
The temperature changes accordingly. Usually, March to May, the end of the dry season are the hottest months in Myanmar. Then, it cools down gradually; and towards the end of the rainy season, it gets pretty cold from October to January of next year.
Even during the rainy season, the central plains around Bagan and Mandalay still stay aside heavy rain. Downpours are expected to happen in August only. However, the Bay of Bengal coast, Yangon and the Irrawaddy Delta experience constant rain from June to August
=> Best Time To Visit Myanmar:
The period from November to February is the most comfortable time to visit Myanmar. As this is the beginning of the dry season, you can enjoy less humidity but not too much heat. However, flocks of tourists will travel to Myanmar at that time. Thus, service prices are on an increase during the peak season. If you are on a tight budget, you may consider going in the mid-season in either October or March.
Festival Calendar In Myanmar
Meaning and Activities
Ananda Pagoda Festival
From full moon day to end of Pyatho month (January)
09 - 15 days
Ancient Bagan, near Ananda Pagoda
This is one of Bagan's famous temple festivals - one of Asia's richest and most fascinating archaeological sites. This festival is thought to have originated from the Bagan Kingdom period. In the past, residents from villages around Bagan came to the festival by ox cart and set up camps during the festival. Today, some residents still come to the festival in the traditional way.
Kachin New Year Festival
Usually takes place in the first week of January
Myitkyina, Kachin State
The Kachin, one of the main ethnic groups in Myanmar to celebrate the New Year festival, there are many Kachin returning from abroad on this occasion to meet and dance during the festival. The Manaw dance performed during the Manaw festival stems from a previous ritual of divine worship.
Naga New Year Festival
Usually in January
Lahe and Layshi, Sagaing, Chin State
The Naga New Year Festival is one of the most distinctive holidays in Myanmar. The Naga have more than 49 tribes with their own costumes and languages, they often gather to celebrate the New Year on January.
Mann Shwe Settaw Temple Festival
From the 5th day of the month Tabodwe (the eleventh month of Burmese calendar)
Shwe Settaw, Magwe State
This is the area where two temples worship Buddha footprints, located on the banks of the Mann River. On the occasion of the festival, a series of bamboo tents are set up for locals to come and play and swim in Myanmar's hot dry season.
Kyaik Khauk Temple Festival
From the 8th to the full moon of the month Tabodwe
Thanlyin, near Yangon
One of the most famous temple festivals in Yangon. Most of the festival's activities take place in the evenings with theater shows and open-air movies throughout the night.
Mahamuni Temple Festival
14th and the full moon of Tabodwe month
The Mahamuni Buddha image is highly revered because it is said to be made right in front of the Buddha, so the face of the statue is most worshipped. The gold-plated statue is 15 cm thick. February is the coldest month in Myanmar and at Mahamuni pagoda there is a celebration of a bonfire. People cook large glutinous rice cookers with ginger, coconut and sesame to make offerings to the monks.
The full moon day of the month of Tabodwe
This is a competition between male teams to offer sticky rice to Buddha in the early morning of the full moon. Tourists can enjoy watching the performances, competing to cook sticky rice, after the rice-giving ceremony, sticky rice will be distributed to everyone, finally the award ceremony for the winning team.
Ko Gyi Kyaw Festival
From the 3rd to the 8th day in Tabaung (the twelfth and final month in Burmese calendar)
Visitors are delighted to enjoy the lyrics and dance of devotees for the god Ko Gyi Kyaw - a funny god who likes to drink and gamble. The festival is held in Ko Gyi Kyaw hometown in Yayzagyo.
Shwedagon Golden Temple Festival
The full moon day of Tabaung month
07 days (a week before the full moon)
Golden Temple is Myanmar's most famous temple and Golden Temple Festival is one of the festivals attracting the most pilgrims. During the festival, there are contests of weaving of saffron clothes with traditional looms to offer Buddha statues at the four corners of the temple. Monks recite sutras all day long during the festival. Buddhists go to the temple to worship all days of the week and make offerings to embellish the temple.
Tabodwe and Tabaung months (usually on summer holidays in March and April)
In Burmese culture, the most important responsibility of a parent to his son is for the child to be imbued with the teachings of Buddha. Therefore, their son was taken to the monastery for a short time as a novice to learn about Buddhism. The ceremony to enter the temple is a special feature of Myanmar. The temple entrance ceremony usually takes place around the time students are absent. The ceremony included a parade around the temple with shaved-headed boys dressed as princes.
Thingyan Water Festival
From April 13th to April 16th
Thingyan Water Festival is the biggest and most popular festival in Myanmar. On this occasion, people can splash water on each other under the music, the dance from the water stall. Splashing water means washing your body and mind from past evil. On these good days, people do many good deeds to start the new year such as going to pagodas and monasteries, making offerings to monks, paying respect to their parents, teachers and the elderly, making offerings. back to life. Every year, the people of Myanmar are looking forward to the Thingyan New Year with lots of joy and excitement.
Bodhi Tree Watering Festival
Full moon day of Tagu month (the first month in Burmese calendar)
All pagodas nationwide
This ritual aims to commemorate the event of 2,500 years ago, when the Buddha meditated to attain enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Pilgrims water the Bodhi tree in temples to grow in the summer of May.
Pakokku Thihoshin Temple Festival
From the 8th day of Nayon month (the third month in Burmese calendar)
Pakokku is an old town on the west bank of the Ayeyarwady River. This is the most important festival in the region. There is also a rural market, which sells local specialties such as dried chillies, cigarettes, and fiber bags. This is also the best quality Tanakha plantation area, a plant for making traditional skin protection cosmetics of Myanmar people.
Waso Full Moon Festival
Full moon day in Waso month (the fourth month in Burmese calendar)
Waso Month in Myanmar is the beginning of the rainy season. This is also the beginning of the Buddhist fasting season. Monks are not allowed to leave the monastery at night. However, they still beg for food in the daytime even though it is raining, so they need extra clothes, so this is the month of giving clothes for monks to use in the rainy season.
Yadana Gu Festival
From the 1st to the 8th of Wagaung month (the fifth month in Burmese calendar)
This is a festival to remember the mother of two gods Taung Pyone. She is the goddess of Mount Popa and the protector of women.
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival
From the 1st of Thadingyut month (the seventh month in Burmese calendar)
Inle Lake, Southern Shan State
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda with 5 Buddha statues is one of the famous temples in the region. The temple is located in the middle of Inle Lake and is a scenic spot of the lake. On the occasion of the festival, thousands of people living around the lake and the surrounding mountains bring flowers and fruits in lacquer trays to celebrate the procession. Popular one-legged sailing teams of fishing villages participate in the annual boat race.
From the 14th to the 16th of Thadingyut month
This festival commemorates the time when Buddha returned to Earth after preaching at the devas during the three months of fasting. He came back at night, and Buddhists lit lamps to welcome him. During the holidays, people decorate their houses with colored candles. The festival also marks the end of the Buddhist fasting season.
Hot Air Balloon Festival
From full moon day of Tazaungmone month (the eighth month in the Burmese calendar)
Taunggyi, Southern Shan State
One of the most spectacular festivals of the year is the annual balloon festival held in November every year in Taunggyi, commonly known as the Taunggyi Tazaungdaing festival. Thousands of locals and international tourists come to Taunggyi to see giant models of paper that are pumped with hot air and dropped into the sky. Contests take place at night, colorful balloons are released into the sparkling night sky. Popular balloon models are elephants, cows, horses, buffaloes, birds, parrots, pigs, fish, and owls (symbol of luck).
Tazaungmone Full Moon Festival
Full moon day of Tazaungmone month
After the rainy season ends, the monks need new clothes. On the full moon day of Tazaungmone, people hold a ceremony to donate clothing and other items to the monk during a ceremony called Kha-htein. An offering for the monk is new clothes, sandals, umbrellas, bowls, food, towels, soap and other necessary items. Money for the monastery is tied on a bamboo frame, in the form of leaves and stems.
Golden Stone Pagoda Festival
The night of December 31
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Stone Pagoda), Mon State
On the night of the festival, Buddhists lit 9000 lamps to welcome the new year and thank the Buddha on the grounds of Kyaik Hti Yo Temple. Guests worship Buddha and have fun dancing all night.