Come on! Join the party
Burma’s festive spirit is its greatest charm. There are always parties, from shin pyu ceremonies, when young boys traditionally join a monastery, to nat pwes, or local spirit rituals, and pagoda festivals. The biggest is Thingyan (the water festival) for Burma’s New Year (13-16 April). In rural areas, the old year is washed away with splashes of scented water, but in the cities huge spraying platforms (pictured) are erected and passers-by are drenched from fire hoses. Burma’s most spectacular event is at Inle Lake, where the Phaung Daw Oo pagoda festival (5-22 Oct) sees Buddha statues taken around the lake in a gilded barge shaped like a mythical bird.