Pagoda Festivals or “PWE” in Myanmar

Pagoda Festivals or “PWE” in Myanmar

Pagoda Festivals or “PWE” in Myanmar

When the moon is full, it’s festival time. The Pagoda Festivals are known as “pwe” meaning an occasion that anybody could enjoy and participate.

Day time events during “pwe” include cane ball tournaments, climbs ‘up the greasy bamboo poles’, and tug o’war. In the evening stage show entertainment takes place. The temporary stage is built in hard wood, the changing rooms of dancers are partitioned by cotton blanket, and raw bamboo mats are erected to wall the theatre. The traditional orchestra takes its place near the stage but on the ground. All power of electricity of the village is sent to the stage to give bright light. The music, the dress and the dance are performed in the traditional way. The people who do not want to see the show, enjoy wandering around the stalls that line up under the battery light. This is the general scene of “pwe” in rural Myanmar.

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Myanmar people love the “pwe”. Especially for the country people, “pwe” is a joyful break after year-round hard work in the fields. They work hard and look forward to enjoy the “pwe” with great temptation. They are longing to participate in the tournament, to watch the show, and to shop anything they want from the stalls that come to their place once a year. All the stalls are run by a kind of nomad people who follows the “pwe” all the year round.

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The biggest pagoda festivals in upper Myanmar are held in Bagan area : The Shwezigon Pagoda Festival is held in November and the Ananda Pagoda Festival is held in January. The official festival date is on the full moon day of Thasaungmon for Shwezigon and Pyatho for Ananda. The festival lasts for three weeks. The villagers from nearby villages come by bullock-carts, some come by bamboo rafts or sailing boats especially the pottery people from the north sails down the Ayeyarwaddy with their all sizes of clay pots to sell in the festival. People who comes to the festival pay homage to the pagoda, enjoy the trading, see the show, learn about the people from the different part of their little world, then go back home refreshed and relaxed in anticipation of the coming ploughing season. Hundreds of bullock-carts standing near the pagoda, thousands of clay pots are displayed along the road, the colorful Pakkoku blankets are piled high for sale, and the reed mats from delta region come all the way upstream to Bagan, people from all levels stroll around, the introducing music from the show ground, everything makes the environs actively alive. The other lovely point, but not the least, is that the pagoda festival supports the survival of the traditional dance and music.

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267 thoughts on “Pagoda Festivals or “PWE” in Myanmar

  1. Avfestival is a day or time of the year when people have a holiday from work and celebrate some special event, often a religious event. Hope if the time of festival comes, I wants to go with you [whatever] .

  2. “When the moon is full, it’s festival time” sound funny but it is true for us.
    In my childhood, I’m very excited and wait for “Pagoda Festivals” (Pwe). Happy time to enjoy night life such as eat snack at stalls, buy accessories and watch traditional dance (Pwe) etc…many things to do

  3. I really enjoyed “pwe” since my childhood and hoped those freely enjoyable days will come again when Myanmar got federal democracy

  4. When the rainy season is over, the pagoda festivals and markets are full. I really love and interesting that culture.

  5. Wandering around pwe zay and tasting the many delicious snacks with friends was the best time for me. I really miss those times.

  6. The Burmese zat pwe, an exuberant variety show involving almost every kind of performing art, has fascinated foreign visitors to Myanmar for the past hundred years. It continues today as a vibrant amalgam of singing, dancing, acting, and comic improvisation, still performed annually at pagoda festivals. I really love and interesting that culture from our own Country.

  7. After reading this, I miss my childhood so much. I really enjoyed walking around ‘PWE zay tan’ with my parents. ❤️

  8. We shouldn’t forget our cultural norms and thanks for reminding and bringing back my childhood memories. I used to go around the festival and love to eat some traditional food such as bamboo steamed sticky rice! Ahh.. how nostalgic!!

  9. It reminds the childhood happiness. I enjoy having seasonal snacks which only available at PWE. I wanna go again with real happiness.

    1. Pwe Jay is where I want to go when I was a child .I like to eat Myanmar tranditional food throughout the pwe zay.😋

  10. The Burmese zat pwe, an exuberant variety show involving almost every kind of performing art, has fascinated foreign visitors to Myanmar for the past hundred years. It continues today as a vibrant amalgam of singing, dancing, acting, and comic improvisation, still performed annually at pagoda festivals. I really love and interesting that culture from our own Country. Thanks for sharing

  11. I love “PWE” especially Shwezigon Pagoda festival. The weather also fine and good to enjoy the time to release the stress of a year.

  12. The Burmese zat pwe, an exuberant variety show involving almost every kind of performing art, has fascinated foreign visitors to Myanmar for the past hundred years. It continues today as a vibrant amalgam of singing, dancing, acting, and comic improvisation, still performed annually at pagoda festivals. I really love and interesting that culture from our own Country. Thanks for sharing knowledge

    1. The last “pwe” I enjoyed is with my ex in Taunggyi. Really fun and happy becuz of the coldweather and her happy face too. But She left me for random reasons that I don’t understand and she never explained me clearly. Whatever hope her happy with another good guy.

  13. ေနေကာင္း က်န္းမာၾကပါေစ။
    ကပ္၃ပါးက ေက်ာ္လႊားႏိုင္ၾကပါေစ။

  14. My mother enjoyed watching Zut Pwe and I loved walking and eating traditional foods in Pwe Zay. I miss my those childhood days.

  15. I love Myanmar traditional “pwe” and when i see poor civilian my mind is sad! i pray to be quickly wealthy our federal democracy country.(ရေးတာမမှန်ရင်သည်းခံ😪)

  16. With urbanized development, the places and time become thinner for Pwe events.
    Missing Pwe from different parts of the country in old days …

  17. 27/02/2022

    The Burmese zat pwe, an exuberant variety show involving almost every kind of performing art, has fascinated foreign visitors to Myanmar for the past hundred years. It continues today as a vibrant amalgam of singing, dancing, acting, and comic improvisation, still performed annually at pagoda festivals. I really love and interesting that culture from our own Country. Thanks for sharing knowledge

    1. Honestly, I like to read our comments at every post. if i don’t want to read the whole article, I look for your comment and tips. Useful tips for those who lazy to read (as like me).

  18. Inle Phaung Daw Oo pagoda festival are held on the 7th of Lunar Calander,Thadingyut.The are so many stalls in this festival.People offer water,flowers,candles and foods Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda.

  19. 07/03/2022

    The Burmese zat pwe, an exuberant variety show involving almost every kind of performing art, has fascinated foreign visitors to Myanmar for the past hundred years. It continues today as a vibrant amalgam of singing, dancing, acting, and comic improvisation, still performed annually at pagoda festivals. I really love and interesting that culture from our own Country. Thanks for sharing knowledge

  20. 08/03/2022

    The Burmese zat pwe, an exuberant variety show involving almost every kind of performing art, has fascinated foreign visitors to Myanmar for the past hundred years. It continues today as a vibrant amalgam of singing, dancing, acting, and comic improvisation, still performed annually at pagoda festivals. I really love and interesting that culture from our own Country. Thanks for sharing knowledge

  21. 10/03/2022

    The Burmese zat pwe, an exuberant variety show involving almost every kind of performing art, has fascinated foreign visitors to Myanmar for the past hundred years. It continues today as a vibrant amalgam of singing, dancing, acting, and comic improvisation, still performed annually at pagoda festivals. I really love and interesting that culture from our own Country. Thanks for sharing knowledge

  22. 14/03/2022

    The Burmese zat pwe, an exuberant variety show involving almost every kind of performing art, has fascinated foreign visitors to Myanmar for the past hundred years. It continues today as a vibrant amalgam of singing, dancing, acting, and comic improvisation, still performed annually at pagoda festivals. I really love and interesting that culture from our own Country. Thanks for sharing knowledge

  23. 15/03/2022

    The Burmese zat pwe, an exuberant variety show involving almost every kind of performing art, has fascinated foreign visitors to Myanmar for the past hundred years. It continues today as a vibrant amalgam of singing, dancing, acting, and comic improvisation, still performed annually at pagoda festivals. I really love and interesting that culture from our own Country. Thanks for sharing knowledge

  24. 21/03/2022

    The Burmese zat pwe, an exuberant variety show involving almost every kind of performing art, has fascinated foreign visitors to Myanmar for the past hundred years. It continues today as a vibrant amalgam of singing, dancing, acting, and comic improvisation, still performed annually at pagoda festivals. I really love and interesting that culture from our own Country. Thanks for sharing knowledge

  25. 22/03/2022

    The Burmese zat pwe, an exuberant variety show involving almost every kind of performing art, has fascinated foreign visitors to Myanmar for the past hundred years. It continues today as a vibrant amalgam of singing, dancing, acting, and comic improvisation, still performed annually at pagoda festivals. I really love and interesting that culture from our own Country. Thanks for sharing knowledge

  26. 25/03/2022

    The Burmese zat pwe, an exuberant variety show involving almost every kind of performing art, has fascinated foreign visitors to Myanmar for the past hundred years. It continues today as a vibrant amalgam of singing, dancing, acting, and comic improvisation, still performed annually at pagoda festivals. I really love and interesting that culture from our own Country. Thanks for sharing knowledge

  27. Well as per article name “PWE”, we all need to participate in unusual “PWE” from what we used to know. Only after participating in that “PWE” successfully, we all can enjoy “PWE” of what we used to know. Hoping that those days will come soon!

  28. 29/03/2022

    The Burmese zat pwe, an exuberant variety show involving almost every kind of performing art, has fascinated foreign visitors to Myanmar for the past hundred years. It continues today as a vibrant amalgam of singing, dancing, acting, and comic improvisation, still performed annually at pagoda festivals. I really love and interesting that culture from our own Country. Thanks for sharing knowledge

    1. Lovely comment of the day. Yes, Aung Pwe. We’ve got to celebrate Aung Pwe. The most needed Pwe.

  29. When I was young, I watched the PWE at Shwemawdaw pagoda festival in Bago. I liked it.
    Thanks for your article.

  30. မုန့်လင်မယား တောင် စားချင်သွားပီ

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