Thingyan, or the water festival, is the biggest festival in Myanmar. Ponnas (Brahmin astrologers) determine the length of the festival, which may last three or four days. Thingyan is celebrated in the hot season (April) and marks the beginning of the New Year in Myanmar.

The Day of the Buddha is celebrated in May, at the time of the new moon. The festival commemorates the Buddha's birth, his enlightenment and his achievement of nirvana. In June, at the time of the full moon, students are tested on their knowledge of Buddhist scriptures in a country-wide examination.

The Buddhist fasting season begins on the full moon in July. It is a three-month commemoration of Buddha's conception, his renunciation of worldly goods and his first sermon after his enlightenment. No marriages take place during this season. Monks are not allowed to travel, and people do not move house.

The "Draw a Lot" Festival takes place during the full moon of August. It is a seven-day festival of almsgiving and religious offerings. Lots are drawn to see who will make food offerings to the pongyis (monks). During the boating festival in September, people attend leg-rowing competitions and boat races on rivers and lakes.

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During Thingyan, people hurl buckets of water at each other. Only pregnant women, civil servants, monks and nuns are spared. The practice symbolizes the washing away of the sins of the old year before the New Year is ushered in. Images of the Buddha are also washed.
The festival of lights in October marks the end of the fasting season and the beginning of a cooler season. People light oil lamps and candles in monasteries, pagodas, homes and trees to celebrate the descent of Buddha into the sphere of mankind. Many couples marry in this season. 

During the full moon in November, unmarried girls take part in a weaving competition. December is a time for nat festivals. January is the month of temple festivals. These are local religious festivals during which people present gifts to monks and enjoy folk dancing and singing. In February is the Harvest Festival. The first harvest is offered to the monastery. Pagoda festivals take place in March.

January 4 Independence Day
February 12 Union Day
March 2 Peasants' Day
March 27 Resistance Day
April Thingyan
May 1 Workers' Day
July 19 Martyrs' Day (death of Bogyoke Aung San)
December 25 Christmas Day