Holidays

Myanmar Independence Day  (1, Juanuary)

      The Independence Day of Burma is a national holiday observed in Burma on January 4 of every year. The date celebrates Burma's Declaration of Independence from Britain on January 4, 1948. In the 19th century, following three Anglo-Burmese Wars, Burma was colonized by Britain. On 1 April 1937, Burma became a separately administered colony of Great Britain and Ba Maw the first Prime Minister and Premier of Burma. Ba Maw was an outspoken advocate for Burmese self-rule and he opposed the participation of Great Britain, and by extension Burma, in World War II. He resigned from the Legislative Assembly and was arrested for sedition. In 1940, before Japan formally entered the Second World War, Aung San formed the Burma Independence Army in Japan.


Myanmar Union Day  (12, February)

      The Panglong Agreement was reached between the Burmese government under Aung San and the Shan, Kachin, and Chin peoples on 12 February 1947. Aung Zan Wai, Pe Khin, Bo Hmu Aung, Sir Maung Gyi, Dr. Sein Mya Maung, Myoma U Than Kywe were among the negotiators of the historical Panglong Conference negotiated with Bamar leader General Aung San and other ethnic leaders in 1947. The agreement accepted "Full autonomy in internal administration for the Frontier Areas" in principle and envisioned the creation of a Kachin State by the Constituent Assembly. It continued the financial relations established between the Shan states and the Burmese federal government, and envisioned similar arrangements for the Kachin Hills and the Chin Hills. The day is celebrated in Myanmar as Union Day each February 12.


Myanmar Peasants Day  (2, March)

      Peasants' Day (Burmese Name, 'Taungthu lethama nei') is a public holiday in Myanmar. Myanmar, also known as Burma, celebrates Peasants' Day yearly every 2nd of March. It is incidentally the General Ne Win's seizure of power in 1962.
     Nay Win is a military commander and politician of Myanmar. He served two terms as the country's Prime Minister from 1958 to 1960 and another on 1962 to 1974. He was also the country's head of state from 1962 to 1981. He also head one of the country's powerful political party Socialist Programme Party from 1964 until 1988. The party was the only party allowed to exist during Ne Win's strict military rule until he was ousted as a result of social unrest happened on 1988 known as the 8888 Uprising.


Myanmar Full Moon Day of Tabaung   (10~20, March)

      The Full Moon Day of Tabaung is an important Buddhist festival celebrated on the full moon day of Magha in Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand, and Myanmar. The spiritual aims of the day are: not to commit any kind of sins; do only good; purify one's mind. The Full Moon Day of Tabaung is a public holiday in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand and is an occasion when Buddhists tend to go to the temple to perform merit-making activities.


Myanmar Armed Forces Day   (27, March)

      The Union of Myanmar, known as Burma until 1989, is in southeast Asia. It is bordered by China, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh, and India.
     Throughout most of the 1800s, Burma was ruled by the British. In 1819, the British invaded Burma and took over parts of the country. By 1886, they had control over the entire country and made it a province of India, which was also under British control.
     In 1930 a Burman named Saya San led a major armed rebellion against the British. San was executed by the British, but he inspired other Burmese to demand independence.


Myanmar New Year Day   (Thingyan Water Festival) (12~21, April)

      Thingyan is the Burmese New Year Water Festival and usually falls around mid-April (the Burmese month of Tagu). It is a Buddhist festival celebrated over a period of four to five days culminating in the new-year. Formerly the dates of the Thingyan festival are calculated according to the traditional Burmese lunisolar calendar, but now fixed to Gregorian calendar 13 to 16 April; it often coincides with Easter. The dates of the festival are observed as the most important public holiday throughout Burma and are part of the summer holidays at the end of the school year. Water-throwing or dousing one another from any shape or form of vessel or device that delivers water is the distinguishing feature of this festival and may be done on the first four days of the festival. However, in most parts of the country, it does not begin in earnest until the second day. Thingyan is comparable to other new-year festivities in Theravada Buddhist areas of Southeast Asia such as Lao New Year, Cambodian New Year and Songkran in Thailand.


Myanmar's Labour Day   (May Day)   (1, May)

      In Myanmar under British colonial rule, the people had no mutual contact with foreign countries. World Worker Day (May Day), which many countries had begun commemorating in 1890, was commemorated in Myanmar for the first time in 1931. It can be said that it was 48 years late. At that time, when oil field workers with the leadership of the Do-Bamar Asiayone were fighting back by striking against the major British imperialist capitalists led by the BOC [Burmah Oil Company], large May Day assemblies of the working masses began to be held starting on May 1st 1938 at the oil towns and the struggle of the oil field workers was able to connected with the international [labour movement]. Therefore, the start of May Day in Myanmar is acknowledged to have come from the oil fields.


Full Moon Day of Kasone   (10~20, May)

      The most important of the 12 Burmese festivals of the months, Kasone Full Moon Day-sometimes known as Buddha Day -celebrates the birth and the enlightenment of the Buddha at the foot of the banyan tree. Buddhists in Myanmar (Burma) gather at monasteries and precept halls to practice meditation, to make charitable donations, and to observe the precepts of Buddhism. Another ritual associated with this day is the pouring of water, both individually and collectively, to celebrate the preservation of the banyan tree. Because Kasone is a hot, dry month, fish are often transferred from streams, ponds, and tanks to places where there is more water.


Full Moon Day of Waso   (Buddhist Lent Begins)   (11, July)

      Waso is the fourth month of the Myanmar calendar (July). This month is the sacred month for the Buddhist because it was the day when the embryo-Buddha Prince Siddhattha was conceived, the day he renounced the world and the day Lord Buddha, soon after the Enlightenment, delivered the First Sermon-Dhammacakka Pavattana Sutta- to the Five Disciples. Therefore, the full moon day Waso is the regarded as the Dhammacakka Day in the memory of the day the Buddha preaches his first sermon.


Martyr's Day   (19, July)

      Martyrs' Day is a Burmese national holiday observed on 19 July to commemorate Gen. Aung San and seven other leaders of the pre-independence interim government-Thakin Mya, Ba Cho, Abdul Razak, Ba Win, Mahn Ba Khaing, Sao San Tun and Ohn Maung-all of whom were assassinated on that day in 1947. It is customary for high-ranking government officials to visit the Martyrs' Mausoleum in Yangon in the morning of that day to pay respects.


Full Moon Day of Thadingyut   (Buddhist Lent Ends)   (5~15, October)

     The Thadingyut Festival the Lighting Festival of Myanmar, is held on the full moon day of the Burmese Lunar month of Thadingyut. As a custom, it is held at the end of the Buddhist lent (Vassa) and is the second most popular festival in Myanmar after Thingyan Festival (New Year Water Festival). Thadingyut festival is the celebration to welcome the Buddha's descent from the heaven after he preached the Abhidhamma to his mother, Maya, who was reborn in the heaven.


Full Moon Day of Tasaungmone   (festival of lights)   (5~15, November)

     The Tazaungdaing Festival also known as the Festival of Lights and spelt Tazaungdine Festival), held on the full moon day of Tazaungmon, the eighth month of the Burmese calendar, is celebrated as a national holiday in Burma (Myanmar) and marks the end of the rainy season. It also marks the end of the Kathina (Kahtein in Burmese) season, during which monks are offered new robes and alms.


Myanmar National Day   (16, November)

     As National Days go, they often celebrate independence of a region or country from harsh political or military rule. Often the history of the National Day involves a deposed leader, an expelled governing body, or the start of a revolution. In most cases, a new government is installed, a new constitution ratified, or genuine change is enacted. However, there are rare cases when the celebration comes full circle and turns into a call for new revolution. National Day in the Union of Myanmar typifies this very well.


Karen National New Year (20~10, December~January)

      The Karen National New Year celebrations are held during the pleasant month of Pyathoe (on the Roman calendar? Dec/Jan). People mark the occasion by sounding the Karen horn and drum, to maintain the tradition of the Karen New Year, until the end of time.
     Officially, the Karen New Year began in 1938. Celebrations were first held in 1939. It was on the first of January 1938, (which that year corresponded with the first of Pyathoe), that Karen national leaders demands to the British administration for the Karen New Year were finally recognized, and declared an official holiday. That date was also formally acknowledged as being the year 2677 on the Karen calendar.


Christmas Day   (25, December)

     Christianity was brought to Burma by European missionaries in the 1800s. It made little if any headway among Buddhists, but has been widely adopted by non-Buddhists such as the Chin, Karen, and Kachin. The Roman Catholic Church, Myanmar Baptist Convention and the Assemblies of God of Burma are the largest Christian denominations in Burma. Burma is home to the second largest population of Baptists in the world, after the United States, the result of American missionary work.
     For minority ethnic groups such as Kayin, Kachin, Chin as well as some Burmese, December is the time to celebrate Christmas by singing songs, playing drama, and doing parties. Christmas Day is an official holiday in Myanmar. Almost every Buddhism travel around Myanmar and take relax at many vacations.