There are estimated more than 150,000 Nagas, comprising of 12 major tribes and many sub-tribes, dwelling in Myanmar. Since hundreds years, Nagas live high in the Northwestern hills region, along the India border, but in recent years, many have moved to the Chin Dwin River Valley around the Sagaing Division and Chin State. Despite they share basically in agricultural, hunting, and animal husbandry lifestyle, each tribe has developed in a different way that can be observed in individual costumes, weaving styles, bodies and facial tattoos, head-dresses or hats and other individualized ornaments. That there can be proud and having people, Nagas are well known that they are honest and brave. They celebrate their Naga New Year festival in January each year.
Kachin is one of the states in Myanmar where the delightful festival is held by the Kachin people, the hill people. Kachin Manaw festival, one of the most popular festivals in Myanmar, is held in the month of January. It is the celebration of the New Year, Victory in battles and reunion of the tribes. Everyone delightfully joins the spiritual dance lined up behind one another. The traditional poles which are beautifully decorated are placed in the center of the festival ground. The main feature of the festival is to dance around the erected Manaw poles. This festival is held in Myitkyina and Putao in Kachin State.
This festival day falls in the month of April. It is a celebration of enjoying the water festival as well as welcoming Myanmar New Year. The elderly and the pious perform a lot of meritorious deeds while the younger gather together to joyfully sing and dance. If you like getting wet, you should participate.
Kyauk-Se is a thriving town which is located on the Yangon-Mandalay highway, where Light Festival and Elephant Dancing Festival are held in the month of Thadingyut (October). This is the festival which mainly features the elephant dance accompanied by colorful pageantry. Nowadays, the elephant dance is becoming one of the highlights in many auspicious celebrations throughout the country.
Inle lake, being located at the 900 meters above the sea, is the second largest natural lake with the hazy blue mountains as backdrop. Paungdaw U pagoda festival, held in “Inle Lake” every year in the seventh month of Myanmar Lunar Calendar which is in October or November, is one of the biggest occasions in Inle area. The Budddha images from “Paungdaw U Pagoda” are placed on a colorfully-decorated royal barge and taken around the lake for the dwellers to be paid homage. Moreover, the festival is full of fun activities, traditional dance and music and boat races participated by leg-rowing dwellers.
Thadingyut is the seventh month of Myanmar lunar calendar and the end of lent. It is a three-day light festival , the day before full moon day, the full moon day and the day after full moon day. The essence of the festival is to celebrate the anniversary of Buddha’s return from the celestial abode. During this time, houses, streets and pagodas in towns and villages are beautifully decorated with lights.
On this special occasion, people enjoy fun and merriment by holding firework-launching competitions. The firework is in the form of rockets. There is also hot balloons competitions on the day and night occasions. Day balloons are usually in the form of Pagodas, and animals such as elephant, dragon or ducks while the night balloons usually in the shape of rugby ball, huge elongated paper balls with small lighted multicolored paper lanterns hung around their sides and balloons would sting along fireworks and fire sticks which are set off mid-air fireworks.
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