Burma is a land of festivals. Almost every day there is a festival somewhere (pwe). There are festivals with a Buddhist background, festivals devoted to nats (spirits), festivals with local significance and national holidays. Most holidays have a fixed date, while the religious holidays follow the lunar calendar so the dates may vary every year.
National holidays: Independence Day (January 4); Union day (February 12) to commemorate the agreement Aung San in 1947 signed with the national minorities; Day of the Peasant (2 March), celebrating the coup by General Ne Win in 1962 Tatmadaw (army) Tatmadaw Day (March 27) Labor Day (May 1) and Martyrs Day (July 19), commemorating the death of Aung San and his associates.
March / April: Thinyan, the water festival, the main party and also the Burmese New Year. The Burmese Thagyamin celebrate the arrival of the king of the nats at New Year. For three days they celebrate and wash away the sins of the past year. The streets are filled with people who surprise you with splashing water from buckets and bins. Only the monks are spared.
April / May: Kason, The day of Buddha, or the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. Believers water the banyan trees at the pagodas on this day. The largest celebration takes place at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.
June / July: Waso is the beginning of Buddhist Lent, a period of three months of sobriety and reflection. Monks do not travel, strict Buddhists are fasting. It is the time for study and meditation.
September / October:
Phaung Daw U festival Kyaung in the Inle Lake. From the pagoda of Phaung Daw U Kyang four Buddha statues tour around in a royal boat to villages and shrines around the lake. The festival lasts three weeks and ends with a regatta on the Inle Lake.
Light Festival (Tazaungmon): the Buddhist Lent comes to its end with a full moon in September / October when the weather clears the air. The return of Buddha and his followers will be celebrated. Millions of lights, chandeliers and lamps, illuminate the temples, pagodas, houses and trees. For Burmese people this is the best time to marry.
November / December (Nadaw) is the month of festivals for the nats. The villages worship the spirit world.