In Myanmar, there are many festivals and seasonal festivals. Every month has its own festival. Buddhism has a great influence on the daily lives of Myanmar people and the celebration of the light festival of Myanmar. Thadingyut and the Tazaungdaing festivals are known as the lightning festivals as we offer light to Lord Buddha on the full moon days of the month. The full moon day of Thadingyut which is still known as Abhidhamma Day for Buddhist. The Thadingyut Festival also known as the Lighting Festival of Myanmar, is held on the full moon day of the Burmese lunar month of Thadingyut. As a custom, it is held at the end of the Buddhist lent and is the second most popular festival in Myanmar. Celebrating Lighting Festival in Thadingyut to welcome the Buddha’s descent from Tarwataintha heaven after he preached the Abhidhamma to his mother, Maya who was reborn in Tarwataintha heaven. This festival is celebrated in Myanmar for three days beginning from the day before the full-moon day of October, yearly.
During Thadingyut, pagodas and homes throughout the country are decorated with electric lights, colourful paper lanterns, candles and even small ceramic saucers filled with oil in which wicks are lit. People go to the pagodas & monasteries and offer alms and worship images of Buddha and monks. Younger people paying homage to the elderly peoples especially grandparents, parents, teachers, relatives. They ask for forgiveness if they have committed any and in return and the elders give them back love and forgiveness. In Burmese, we call Kan Dawt. Children playing with fireworks, floating candlelight with the lamps or small boats in the water or writing letter with the candle lights. The lightning festival lasts for three days everywhere in towns and villages. Some people migrate all across Myanmar as they head to their hometowns to see families and old friends. As the festive days are marked as official holidays, express train tickets were sold out a week ago before the festival and hotels, motels and inns are fully occupied due to a large number of visitors from home and abroad. This period is one of the busiest travel and tourism seasons.
During the Thadingyut festival, there are a variety of activities for everyone to enjoy. Buddhists usually go to pagodas such as the famous Shwedagon, city-centred Sule Pagoda, Botahtaung Pagoda. Some go to monasteries to pay respect to the monks and fast on the full moon day. Pagodas in Myanmar celebrated the festival called Bayar Pwal in this month. In Pwal Zay, you also can see a lot of food- stalls, which sell a variety of Myanmar traditional foods and shops, toys, kitchen accessories and sometimes traditional blanket and scarf. You can also enjoy free stage shows on the streets in Yangon.
Well-known pagodas in Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay are crowded with Buddhist devotees and pilgrims during the festival. The most crowded pagoda in Yangon is Shwedagon pagoda and Kyaut Taw Gyi pagoda in Mandalay. The full moon day is the most sacred of holidays in Myanmar.