Culture and pagoda festivals are usually held by lunar calendar and of festival’s dates are determined by this. Lunar calendar begins the month Tagu (meet in April) followed Kasone, Nayon, Waso, Wagaung, Tawthalin, Thidingyut, Tazaung mone, Nadaw, Pyatho, Tabodwe and ending Tabaung . Every year, Myanmar new year day always meet in mid of April( 16-18). The regular lunar year has 12 months while in the leap year the month Waso is split into two periods “first” and “second”. The lunar month begins (the waxing phase) the day after the dark moon day until peaks on the full moon day and then tails off (the waning phase) to the next dark moon. The order of lunar days and months can be varied from Gregorian calendar one year to another.
Hundreds of festivals take place up and down the country each year and some are big occasion, some are nation-wide. As an example, the Manau Festival in Myitkyina boasts dances performed by as many as of 2,000 revellers at one time. “Thingyan” water festival is sprung across country.
Manau festival, Naga New Year festival, Chin national day and Akah, a big Shan ethnic festival are fixed according to Gregorian calendar. Some national or ethnic people festivals are held by their own calendar or by means of the decision of their heads, astrologist – e.g Thingyan water festival, Phaung Daw Oo pagoda festival, Karen new year festival.
A festival offers opportunity to gain an insight into Myanmar’s life, traditions, culture, beliefs and same time to interact with local people.