It's safe to travel in Myanmar.
We can make arrangements for you from the snow clad alpine peaks with excellent hiking and skiing potential in the top north to the vast emerald green land, and the silvery beaches and deep sea diving in the blue Andaman Sea. Putao is the starting point for Myanmar's most adventurous trekking adventures. It is the nearest town to the base camp for Climbing Mt. Khakhaborazi (5889 metres), which is the highest mountain in Myanmar and in Southeast Asia. Putao Trekking is safe to travel.
Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival at Inle Lake (Oct. 12 - Oct. 29, 2007)
The Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival is one of the most famous pagoda festival in Myanmar and well known all over the world. The festival is held every year during the month of October and lasts for more than 20 days as the 4 Buddha Images are taken around the lake in a gilded barge pulled by hundrerds of leg-rowers in long canoes in front.These images sometimes stay over night at some villages and sometimes just stop over for a short while. Rowing competitions are also held. Pilgrims from all over the country come to this festival to pay homage to the Buddha Images. Many are from the plains, some from the mountains, while others are from small remote villages but everybody is here to gain merit and enjoy the festive air of the event. Foreign tourists are also fascinated not only by the religiouness of the festival goers but also with the generosity of the pilgrims as they pray in front of the Images and offer tissue thin gold leaves to put on the Images. This sense of true generosity and the religiousness of the people is evidenced by the Images itself for after decades of being gilded by countless number of gold foils they had become huge globes of gold.
This year's festival had also begun. The Phaung Daw Oo Images arrived yesterday at Nyaung Shwe and will stay there for three nights. After that they will continue their tour around the lake. As usual the welcoming ceremony at Nyaung Shwe was thronged with local pilgrims and foreign tourists alike. Everybody is invited to come visit the festival and see the real nature of the Myanmar people.
Myanmar is a land of festivals. Every month there is a pagoda festival, even during the monsoon season. But with the cessation of the monsoon rains the country comes alive with pagoda festivals, religious festivals etc.
On the Full-moon day of November there are some notable pagoda and religious festivals coming up.
Taunggyi Tazungdine Hot-air Balloon Competition
In Taunggyi, the capital city of the Shan State, the people celebrate the Tazaungdine festival with Kahtein (offering of monk robes) as well as the releasing up fire-balloons into the sky. Balloons in the shape of elephant, ox, horse, water-buffalo, bird, pig, fish, owl and parrot are released. The Taunggyi festival is the biggest festival in the country. It is attended not only by Taunggyi Citizens but also by people from southern Shan State and many different races. Taungyi's Kahtein tradition is amazing and worthy of reverence.
Kachin Manaw Festival (Jan. 09 – 10, 2008)
There are seven states and seven divisions in Myanmar. Among them, Kachin is one of the states, which has a delightful festival known as Manaw. Kachin, the hill people or the Scots of Myanmar, celebrate Manaw festival. It is one of the most popular festivals in Myanmar. The festival is usually held in January. This festival has been held for more than three decades. Manaw festivals is the celebratation of the New Year, Victory in battles, reunion of the tribes etc. Everybody joins the spiritual dance lined up behind one another. The traditional Manaw poles are decorated in colorful Kachin motifs and are centered in the middle of the festival ground. All who came to the festival wear their best traditional costume and the main feature of the festival is dancing around the erected Manaw poles, quite similar to the totem poles of North American Indians. Manaw festival is held in Myitkyina and Putao in Kachine State.
Naga New Year Festival (Jan. 14 - 16, 2008)
Numerous Naga tribes spread throughout the Northwestern hills of Myanmar. Most of the Naga are from the Chin State. The Naga festival is social, but it is also to exchange previous year experiences, to make plans for the coming year and to discuss how to overcome difficulties. They pray for abundant crops and domestic animals and to have good weather. Another aspects of this festival is reunion of relatives, who are away from home. They worship to their deities by scarifying the animals. The festival is usually in January, for this year it will be held from January 14 -16 in Leshi.
Kakku Pagoda Festival (Mar. 21 - 23, 2008)
Annually in March, on the full moon day of Tabaung (March) which is the last month of the Myanmar lunar calendar, Kakku Pagoda festival takes place. Normally the festival will begin two or three days in advance for this is not just a religious festival but also a social occasion. It is the time for all to have fun, exchange news and gossips, to trade. For the younger set it is the time to meet their friends from other villages or the boys to fall in love with the girls.
As it is, all the people of the region arrive by the thousands, dressed in their traditional costumes. Some come in bullock carts while others arrive by more modern conveyances, on the village tractor.
But the most interesting time to visit this place is to get there before dawn of the full moon day of Tabaung where the Pa O people in all their finery come with gaily decorated trays bearing morning food offerings.
Thingyan Water Festival (Apr. 12 - 16, 2008)
Myanmar is a land full of festivals and fun. The Mekong Water Festival includes the countries Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos. The celebration is called Songkran in Thailand, Chaul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia, Thingyan in Myanmar and Pimai in Laos. But it is believed that water festival washes away sins and welcomes the New Year. The water festival represents the most popular, raucous and colorful celebration of the year for more than 120 million people who will abandon any thoughts of work and bring their nations to a standstill. People around the country gather together again and visits pagodas, offers and pay homage to the monks, play traditional games and celebrate with their joyous spirit.
After playing around and having fun throughout the country, the city-dwellers welcome the New Year on the 17th by cleaning the floors of the pagodas and monasteries, washing old and aged peoples' hair, helping to cut them their nails. Some offer free food and drinks for everyone who visits the pagodas, some make other donations. If you can be here with us, you will never forget the true joy.
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