One of the most famous festivals in Myanmar, the annual Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival will be held at Inle Lake, over 18 days in October beginning on the first day of the waxing moon of Thadingyut and ending after the full moon. This year, the festival will be run from 2 – 19 October.
A celebration of great magnificence and pageantry, the festival sees four of the five famous Buddha images from Phaung Daw Oo placed on a decorative royal barge then pulled by hundreds of leg-rowers in long canoes around the lake stopping at surrounding villages for people to pay homage to the revered images.
Each village greets the four images with fanfare and celebrates every moment of the one-night stopover with traditional Shan dances and martial arts exhibitions. The high point of the festival is on the day when the images arrive at the main town of Nyaung Shwe where pilgrims from the surrounding region come to pay their respects. Here, boat races are also held with teams representing various villages around Inle using their skills and strength to win the race.
Since the festival spans several weeks and locations, please click here for more information on how to best experience the annual event.