Dates: November 2nd to 5th, 2017
Location: Across the country
Duration: Five days
Held for three days around the full moon of Tazaungmone, this festival falls in the eight lunar month of the Burmese calendar. The festival is celebrated at pagodas right across Myanmar with the biggest celebration taking place in Taunggyi where they hold the fire balloon festival over the course of a week.
Buddhists perform merit-making activities such as giving alms and doing charity work. Communities have been gathering donations over the course of the month since the previous full moon. They load everything onto a tree-shaped frame and form a small parade and play loud music as they carry the collected donations to the chosen monastery.
These donations often take the form of cash or hampers containing goods which will be useful for the monks and others at the monastery.
One curious event held around the same time as the Festival of Lights is the kyimano pwe (crow doesn’t wake festival) which involves young members of the community causing mischief around their neighbourhoods with simple acts of thievery and trickery.