Burmese New Year

Burmese New Year Quick Facts

AKA NameThingyan, Myanmarese New Year
HashtagsCompiled on#BurmeseNewYear, #Thingyan
Related Hashtags#Thingyan, #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar, #Myanmar
2024 DateApril 13, 2024
2025 DateApril 13, 2025

Burmese New Year

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Burmese New Year History

Burmese New Year, also known as Thingyan, marks the start of the Burmese lunar year. Revered as the most widespread festival in Myanmar, Thingyan symbolizes the cleansing of sins and a fresh beginning for the new year. The holiday is characterized by merriment, water fights, traditional rice dishes, music, and dance.

The history of Thingyan can be traced back to the Indian festival of Sankranti but has since evolved into a distinctly Burmese event. According to Buddhist mythology, Thingyan commemorates the time when King Thagyar Min would decapitate those who had committed crimes but had gone unpunished. Today, this grim tale has transformed into a joyous tradition where soaking someone in water symbolizes the washing away of their sins.

Burmese New Year begins with the 'A-Kyo Nei' or 'Welcoming the Thingyan' and ends with 'A-Tet Nei', marking the New Year's Day. Notably, the contentment, camaraderie, and joy that define Thingyan do not only reflect the country's rich culture but also serve as an invitation for reconciliation—a chance to wash away the past and welcome a prosperous new year. As with other lunar celebrations, Burmese New Year varies each year, usually falling in mid-April.

Facts about Burmese New Year

  • The celebrations last for four days, up until the actual first day of the new year.
  • There are stages set up around cities where people perform traditional Myanmar (or Burma) Thingyan dances.
  • Cars and people are drenched with water everywhere around the city. Whoever doesn't want to get wet has to stay indoors.
  • During this time of the year, the weather is extremely warm in Myanmar, so being drenched in water can be quite a relief.
  • Younger people wash their older family members' hair as a sign of respect.
  • Tourists are soaked in water just like everyone else. The locals believe they are doing them a favor by washing their sins away.

Top things to do for Burmese New Year's Day

  • Buy some water guns and balloons and have a water fight with your friends and family members.
  • If you are in New York, mark the day for Waterfight NYC. It's a big water gun fight at Central Park. The event takes place in July, which matches the time of the year many Burmese people celebrate Thingyan in New York.
  • Have a pool party or go to the beach.
  • Visit a water park.

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