Discovery >

On Stage in Myanmar: Thingyan Water Festival

April 3, 2014 by Khiri Travel | Filed Under: ,

Thingyan is the name for Water Festival in Myanmar. Celebrated in mid-April, the Water Festival marks the beginning of the Buddhist New Year. For traditional holidays, Myanmar uses its own calendar system based on the lunar calendar. 2014 for instance, will mark the end of the year 1274 M.E. (Myanmar Era).

Aside from the relatively modern practice of water being thrown without warning, the ceremonial part of Thingyan marks the descent of Thagyamin, the King of the gods, from the Tavatimsa or heavenly place. Legend has it that Thagyamin will note the good deeds of the Buddhist population in a golden book, shwe-parabeik, while the bad deeds will be noted in a book made of dog’s skin.

Thingyan lasts from 12-16 April and all offices in Myanmar are closed. In urban areas, the younger generation rides around on the back of trucks carrying large drums of water and playing loud music. Streams of water are cascading through the air between vehicles and pedestrians. The most common food during the festivities is from Indian restaurants, which remain open, selling biryani chicken in takeaway boxes.

The modern meaning of Thingyan in Myanmar is “a few days of freedom”, especially for the youth. Often times, young women put aside their traditionally conservative blouses and longyi (sarong) to wear more modern fashions such as mini-skirts and tight tops. Also, while almost no one in Myanmar drinks alcohol, these days are an exception. Along the main roads in Yangon, one can see stages on which young people are dancing and constantly being showered by water was thrown at them from the audience below.

A word of warning: never bring any electronic equipment outside the hotel on Thingyan. Everything gets soaked, even with travelers trying to be careful. Some cash in a plastic bag is all that is needed. Happy New Year in Myanmar!

For more information and bookings, please contact [email protected].

Latest post

Khiri Travel Opens Phuket Office

Khiri Travel has opened an office in Phuket. The move marks a new commitment to innovative tours in southern Thailand by Khiri, which since 1994

Read More

Experiencing Vietnamese Cuisine Like a Local

To get a truly rounded impression of a destination, the best way to start is by sampling the local cuisine.

Read More

Spotlight On: Our New Manager in Cambodia Is Loving His New Lifestyle

Meet Miles Gravett, Khiri Travel’s new Country Manager in Cambodia. He lives in Phnom Penh and can often be found cycling on his bike around his new home city.

Read More

Khiri Travel Laos Unveils New Signature Experiences

New travel products and appointment of Connor Bedard reaffirm responsible tourism credentials of Khiri Travel in

Read More

Subscribe to our newsletter

Our B2B newsletters are for industry professionals




*We’ll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time.