Festival of Lights
Date : One day before the Full Moon Day of Thadingyut, the Full Moon Day and one day after
Location : Throughout the country
Duration : 3 days
This festival commemorates the time when the Buddha returned to earth after preaching in the abode of celestials during the three months of Lent. He descended at night and devotees greeted Him with lamps and lanterns. People decorate their houses with candles and coloured lanterns to symbolize this event. The festival of Light marks the end of Lent.
Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda Festival
Date : Begins one day before the full Moon day of Thadingyut
Location : Mandalay
Duration : 4 days
An exciting festival focused on a huge Buddha Image carved from a single block of marble. It conincides with an annual competition among teams of cane-ball ( chinlone ) players. This sport of keeping a rattan ball off the ground without using the hands is not about one side winning and the other losing and is surely the only sport in the world with such a concept.
Dancing Elephants Festival
Date : One day before the Full Moon Day of Thadingyut and the Full Moon Day
Location : Kyaukse, about 40 km southeast of Mandalay
Duration : 2 days
On the first day, colourfully decorated elephant figure made of cloth and bamboo with two men inside complete in dance competitions. The elephant with the best dance performance and behaviors wins the gold. Food and flowers are offered to the pagoda on the second day.
Kaunghmudaw Pagoda Festival
Date : Around Full Moon Day of Thadingyut
Location : Sagaing, Sagaing Region
Duration : 5 days
One of the famous pagodas in central Myanmar. Most interesting aspect of this festival is the caravan of bullock carts in the pagoda compound. Some of the carts carry their village products, such as hand-woven cotton clothes and cane under the shady trees.
Shwe Kyin Light Festival
Date : After the Full Moon Day of Thadingyut
Location : Shwe Kyin Creek, Shwe Kyin Township, Bago Region
Duration : 1 day
Shwe Kyin light festival is held every year on the day after the full moon day of Thadingyut. The festival includes daytime rowing races as well as competitive synchronized paddling exhibitions by separate teams of women and men. However, the highlight of the festival occurs only after darkness falls and locals launch hundreds of lit candles onto the water.