Myanmar Water Festival, also known as Thingyan Water Festival, is the most expected celebration of Burmese people. Taking place to celebrate the New Year party annually, this is a wonderful event for not only local people but also tourists traveling to the country during the holiday to indulge in the delightful moment and pray for a better year. In the heat of Myanmar summer, expect to get wet by the cool water among thousands of people, scream aloud and leave all the stress behind. If you are looking for an essential guide for the Thingyan water festival in Myanmar – the highlight of Burma tours in April, just have a look at this useful information below to gain insight about its history, activities, and how people celebrate it.
History of Thingyan Festival in Myanmar
The history of the Thingyan water festival in Myanmar dating back from a very long time ago originated from the Buddhist version of a Hindu myth. Thingyan, in Sanskrit language (the language of ancient India), means “transit of the Sun from Pisces to Aries. The legend said that the Thingyan festival is an event to henceforth signify the changing hands of the Brahma’s head – a powerful deity that lost his head in a gamble with Devas.
Nowadays, the Thingyan water festival in Myanmar is renowned as the most cherished event for people to wish for good health and luck to all people who attend. The Neighbor country, Vietnam celebrate Vietnam new year festival in February following Lunar Calendar.
How Burmese People Celebrate Thingyan Festival
Activities in Thingyan Festival
There were several versions of how Burmese people celebrate the Thingyan festival. In the past, the water festival in Myanmar is varied from region to region. If in Mon State, people often prepare a special dish from dried snakehead fish, onion, green mangoes, and beeswax, in Shan State, people observe three other traditional celebrations in the water festival. Notwithstanding these differences, the first day of the Thingyan Water Festival is an occasion to take place in many religious activities.
Normally, the Thingyan water festival in Myanmar lasts for five days. The first day is the Thingyan Eve, people go to the temples and pagodas to observe the Buddhist relief, offer to monks, wash the Buddha image, and pray for their life. The water fighting festival in Myanmar starts on the second day when Thagya Min – who is considered the King of Nat makes his descent from heaven to the earth. This amazing day is marked with the firing of a water cannon shot into the public area. This time, people will pour out the street and collect the water with pots and buckets, some are armed with water guns and the street is soaked by the water. Burmese people believe that water will drive out bad luck and purify the sin of people in the last year.
Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw are two destinations that witness the biggest celebration of the Thingyan festival. During the festival time, there will be many trucks run around the street to pick up people. Burmese people are friendly and hospitable. Therefore, if you expect to be picked and roll out with them to experience the madness of the festival, they are always welcome you with an open arm. The third and fourth days are two following days of the water fighting. Attending the festival, tourists are able to enjoy another highlight of the Thingyan festival: the free food distribution on the street including some hot coffee, fried noodles, and traditional Thingyan snacks. Don’t be surprised that you will not have to spend any money to enjoy it! Burmese people are happy to give it to everyone! Together with the lively water fighting, traveling to the Golden Rock in Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda is also a favorite activity for prayers and worshipers. However, you should remember that traveling out of Yangon during the festival can be pricey cause transportation is limited for 5 days of the festival.
Mouth-watering Thingyan Food in Myanmar Water Festival
Like many other festivals in the world, the Myanmar water festival also has its own food. Each with a unique taste and flavor.
1. Mont Lat Saung
Mont Lat Saung is a Burmese traditional drink made from sugar or palm sugar and rice jelly shaped like worms mixed with coconut milk. On the occasion of the Thingyan water festival in Myanmar, you can easily find it on every street vendor in the city.
2. Shwe-yin-aye & Mont-lat-saung
This is a favorite dessert of Burmese people in the Thingyan water festival made from bread, sticky rice with jaggery caramel sauce. It is much similar to Mont Lat Saung but it has extra bread and sticky rice.
3. Mote Lone Yay Paw
Mote Lone Yay Paw is a traditional sweet snack in the Thingyan festival made from palm sugar put inside glue rice and coconut milk creating sticky rice balls.
4. Thingyan hta-min
Thingyan hta-min (or water festival rice set) is a special dish of Burmese cooked in scented water and prepare with intricated steps to create a dish that reaches a new level of rice perfection. Originated in Mon State in the southern part of Myanmar, so far, it has been eaten widely all over the country. Once finding yourself at the water festival of Myanmar, don’t miss your chance to enjoy it!
Myanmar Water Festival in 2021: Info & Travel Guides
Whenever you decide to travel for a water festival tour in Myanmar 2021, there are always some significant things you might want to master.
Essential Tips for Traveling to Myanmar
- Traveling to Myanmar, you will realize that taxis are a bit expensive cause there is no meter. Therefore, negotiating is necessary before getting in. Besides, means of public transportation are limited during the holiday but trains are available.
- When attending the water fight on the street, remember to use water-resistant bags to protect your electric devices
- There will be massive people pour out the street during the water festival time, thus, keep eyes on the important belongings when you bring them together
- People who join the water festival in Myanmar are free to throw the water at each other. Nevertheless, do not throw the water at the monks, the elders, and motorbike drivers.
- To adapt well when you traveling to Myanmar for the first time, read dos and don’ts in Myanmar to ensure there won’t be any problems while traveling in the country.
- Burmese people will highly appreciate it if you can say Happy New Year in Burmese. It is “hnit thit ku mingalar pa“
When is the Best Time to Enjoy Myanmar Water Festival?
The water festival in Myanmar begins on April 13 to April 16, Go Myanmar Tours offers Myanmar water festival tour package 13 days for tourists to soak up this biggest festival in Burma. The sooner you contact us, the better the promotion you will receive!