The Thadingyut Festival, also known as the Lighting Festival of Myanmar is near now.
Thadingyut (seventh month of the Myanmar calendar) is an enjoyable month. During this popular festival, you can see colorful electric bulbs and paper lanterns or candles decorated on pagodas, houses, streets and buildings. There are also street fairs with a lot of food-stalls, toy shops and many other shops. You can walk around and have fun sightseeing. Young people also visit the elders to pay respect and present gifts. It is also enjoyable for everyone because of its long holidays for both office and school. Several places in Myanmar have their unique festival of celebrating Thadingyut. Let’s find out which area to visit during these holidays.
Kyaukse’s Dancing Elephant Festival (Oct 4 – 6)
Photo credit: http://www.myanmarlits.com
Dancing Elephant Festival is a famous festival from Kyaukse. The large elephant figures dancing along the traditional drum rhythms is lovely to watch. This huge but light elephant figures are made with bamboo and paper. It is an amazing performance of two men together to take their places inside the figure and dance in rhythm. This festival is held from October 4th to 6th annually and there are many visitors coming to watch the elephant dance.
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda Festival (Oct 15th)
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is located near Kyaiato, at a distance of 160 kilometers from Yangon. It takes four hours to arrive from Yangon to Kyaiktiyo directly by bus. You can either hike up the mountain on foot or climb the mountain by ferry buses. Every year, on the full moon day of Thadingyut, the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda Festival is celebrated. The pagoda site is filled with local street vendors from Mon State, visitors from all over Myanmar and foreign tourists. On the Thadingyut full moon day, locals offer 9000 candles and 9000 flowers to the Buddha. At that time, you can enjoy the special lighting celebration.
Shwegyin Light Festival (Oct 8th)
Shwegyin Township is located in Bago Region, along the banks of the Sittaung River. The Shwegyin Light Festival is a pleasant festival to participate. According to Shwegyin’s tradition, the offering of Hsun Daw Gyi (a mixture of rice, onions, potatoes, ginger and garlic) to the Buddha and the Sangha is held in the early morning of Thadingyut full moon day. On the festival day which is the day after full moon, the beautifully decorated Karaweik Barge carries the images of Lord Buddha and the Stupa of Shin U Pa Gotta monk and turns around to accept the people’s worshiping. At sunset, you can enjoy fireworks and lotus-shaped oil lamps floating along the Shwegyin River. The sight of the delightfully reflected lights on the water surface brings forth peace to the visitors.
Yay Kyaw Night Bazaar (Oct 2nd)
The night bazaar at Yay Kyaw is the biggest Pwal Zay (night market) in town. It is the best place for food lovers and shopaholics to hang out around in those streets with friends. There are variety of food such as Myanmar traditional snacks and some souvenirs to shop for. The small Burmese Ferris Wheel is something you should enjoy for thrill. There are also other fun activities such as entertainment shows and stage shows.
Do you have any plan visiting some places for coming Thadingyut holidays? Let’s share with us. Have fun. And Happy Thadingyut Festival!