A Guide to Ananda Pagoda Festival in Myanmar

June 11, 2022 - 367 views

Have you heard about Ananda Pagoda Festival? If you travel to Myanmar during December or January, do not miss out on this interesting festival. Let’s find out more information about this festival in this article: A Guide to Ananda Pagoda Festival in Myanmar

Ananda Pagoda is probably the finest, largest, and best-preserved of all the Bagan pagodas. It suffered considerable damage in the earthquakes in history, however, it is still the most beautiful one out of 2,000 holy monuments. The pagoda, built in 1090 by Kyansittha, is on a large scale. It is said to represent the endless wisdom of the Buddha. Each year, the pagoda witnesses a lively festival called Ananda Pagoda Festival.

What is Ananda Pagoda Festival?

Ananda Pagoda Festival is the festival where Buddhist devotees come together to worship, engage in special rituals, and raise funds for the local religious community programs. The festival is held for social gathering, reunification, propagation, and perpetuation of Buddhism. It's a week-long festival that is held during the month of Pyahto (December to January) based on the Myanmar calendar. The best time to visit the festival is the last day.

Ananda Pagoda Festival

Crowded in festival


What are the main activities during Ananda Pagoda Festival?

The villagers from around Bagan come to the festival in traditional bullock carts and made camps for the whole duration of the festival. Many famous local theatrical troupes had come also to provide entertainment for the festival-goers. There will be stores selling everything from foodstuff to agricultural implements. During the festival, around 1,000 monks perform continuous chanting of scriptures for 72 hours. Thousands of villagers from miles around set up encampments around the temple. There are lots of entertainment activities during the festival time including musical amusement, dancing, singing, etc. One of the performance highlights is reserved for a traditional theatre performance and comedy show that can last for several hours.

As dawn breaks on the Fullmoon Day of Python, the pilgrims give donations to the monks. The monks make their way between the donors lined up on both sides and all reverently place their donations in the monk’s hands.

Celebrate in Ananda Festival

Celebrate ceremony


Tips to join Ananda Pagoda Festival

Who enjoys?

For locals, this festival serves as a social event, where families and friends make time to spend time and enjoy the town together. Foreign tourists also enjoy the festival. Coming to the festival gives them a big chance to have the best photographs of a local festival in Bagan, to learn more about culture, local life, and religious activities. They can also shop unique local artisan crafts as a way to contribute to the local community and bring home a lovely souvenir from the festival.

Monks in Ananda festival

Monks in festival


How to travel to Bagan to join Ananda Pagoda Festival?

Depending on which city in Myanmar you are in, you can choose few options:

  • From Yangon: You can take either flight or an overnight bus to Bagan. It is about 10 hours on bus and costs about 20USD/ticket for a first-class seat
  • From Mandalay: You can either take a short flight or tourist boat to experience river sightseeing


How to dress at Ananda Pagoda Festival?          

There is no dress code for this festival, however, it is advised to wear a dress covering your shoulders, arms, and knees.

Something to note: Do not book a hotel which is close to the place where the festival is held. It will be could be very noisy and dusty. See the list of recommended hotels or hostels by click: Top 5 Luxurious Hotels in Bagan or 5 Best Hostel Experiences in Bagan

You might want to find some good Bagan tours, please do not hesitate to visit our page or contact our travel consultant.

Jenny Tran

Image sources: Internet



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