What is Yadana Gu Spirit Festival?
The Yadana Gu Spirit Festival is one of the largest gatherings of spirit mediums in Myanmar.
Thousands gather for this eight day festival in the small town of Amarapura outside of Mandalay to honor the pantheon of animist spirits called Nats that are infused with Myanmar’s Buddhist culture. The celebration is led by hundreds of spirit mediums who are said to be possessed by the Nats during the ceremonies. The spirit mediums perform ritual dances and songs accompanied by a traditional Burmese orchestra as the festival goers make offerings of food, flowers, alcohol, and money to the Nats
When is Yadana Gu Spirit Festival?
The Yadana Gu Spirit Festival is usually held in August. In Myanmar, a traditional Buddhist lunar calendar is used to determine festival dates, which can shift several weeks each year due to the phases of the moon. If you’re interested in attending this animist ritual, it’s best to plan in advance so our Travel Specialists can make the appropriate arrangements and confirm the dates of the festival.
Yadana Gu Spirit Festival Highlights:
Cultural enthusiasts find Yadana Gu Spirit Festival to be a fascinating opportunity to witness ancient animists traditions that predate the expansion of Buddhism into the region that is today called Myanmar. King Anawrahta, unable to stamp out animism, enshrined a pantheon of 37 Nat spirits into the numerous Buddhist temples he commissioned in the 11th century to draw new devotees to the newly adopted state religion of Buddhism.
Where is Yadana Gu Spirit Festival Celebrated?
The Yadana Gu Spirit Festival is held in the small town of Amarapura just south of Mandalay.
While the festivities take place throughout the city of Amarapura, the most captivating rituals are held inside Buddhist temples that require attendees to wear modest clothing that covers shoulders, arms, and legs.