What is Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival?
The Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival is the largest Buddhist celebration in the Inle Lake region of Myanmar’s Shan State.
Five small golden Buddha images are enshrined inside the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda that date back to the 12th century. The statues have been wrapped in so many layers of gold leaf by Buddhist Pilgrims that they resemble knobby gold nuggets instead of ancient Buddhist icons. For the 18 day festivals, four of the five images are taken from the pagoda and paraded between the numerous villages on the shores of Inle Lake in special gilded barges propelled by dozens of men who use a unique leg rowing technique involving one leg and one arm.
The images are brought to each village for small rituals of traditional dancing and singing. The villagers will make donations of food and money to the monks who inhabit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda to support the temple through the year. The offering of alms to Buddhist monks and temples is a highly valued and merit making tradition for Myanmar’s Buddhists, and nearly every villager will make an offering to the red robbed monks in exchange for blessings of good fortune.
When is Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival?
The Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival is an 18 day festival that falls between September and October. Holiday dates are chosen with the phases of the moon as they align with Myanmar’s Buddhist lunar calendar, which can shift the dates several weeks each year. Advance planning allows our Travel Specialists to confirm the often changing dates of this important religious festival on Inle Lake, and make appropriate arrangements for an addition to your luxury tour of Myanmar.
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival Highlights:
Inle Lake is a fascinating destination brimming with a unique water faring culture that permeates every inch of life in the area. During the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival the Inle Lake area is a special treat for cultural enthusiasts searching for a window into the region’s religious identity.
Where is Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival Celebrated?
It’s best to dress in conservative clothing that covers shoulders to knees while visiting Buddhist festivals in Myanmar.