What is Thingyan New Year Water Festival?
Thingyan is Myanmar’s annual New Year celebration marking the end of the dry season, and the onset of the rainy season.
The celebration runs for four to five days with the entire country participating in an ancient Buddhist tradition akin to a Native American rain dance. To wash away the year’s sins, and welcome the return of sustaining rains that feed Myanmar’s lush jungles, people spend the festival dousing each other with water from any container that will hold liquid. Everything from plastic jugs to high-pressure squirt guns are perpetually aimed at virtually anyone outdoors during the event, and the streets of every city in Myanmar ring with the chaotic fun that is one of the country’s largest and most celebrated religious festivals.
On the final day of the festival, the water fights draws to a quick end as the celebration turns from jubilant to ritually devout at the dawn of New Year’s Day. Myanmar’s citizens spend the final day of the Thingyan Festival performing merit-making rituals. Captive birds, fish, and other animals are released as acts believed to draw good fortune, and special feasts are prepared and given to Buddhist clergy across the country.
When is Thingyan New Year Water Festival?
The Thingyan New Year Water Festival is held annually from April 13 to 17th.
Thingyan New Year Water Festival Highlights:
Thingyan is one of the liveliest festivals in Myanmar. The streets are filled with a riot of activity across the country as citizens joyfully spray the sin from each other. It’s a sight that should not be missed while traveling on a luxury tour of Myanmar.
Where is Thingyan New Year Water Festival Celebrated?
The Thingyan New Year Festival is a countrywide celebration, though it’s the liveliest in larger cities like Mandalay and Yangon.
Dress in light clothing that sheds water. Anyone outside is considered fair game for a soaking, so it’s best to leave your camera equipment inside during the first four days of the festival.