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Yadana Gu Spirit Festival

Author Ma Thanegi / Photos By Si Thu Lwin

This is a spirit, or nat, festival which honours the mother of the two spirit brothers for whom the most popular Taung Pyone spirit festival is held. She is the goddess of Mount Popa and her main shrine is on Mount Popa Crest, near Bagan. She too is a powerful spirit and protector of women.After the Taung Pyone spirit festival held around the August full moon each year, Yadana Gu Spirit Festival is held yearly in the village of Nge Toe in Amarapura just south of Mandalay  .This festival is the second most popular in and around Mandalay after the Taung Byone festival and many people travel in from townships surrounding the city to partake in the festivities.

In previous times, people used to travel to the festival in traditional bullock carts but nowadays this has been replaced by motorbikes and cars.The festival involves glamorously-dressed spirit mediums dancing and singing to live traditional music while accepting offerings of money, alcohol, cigarettes and food on behalf of the celebrated spirit.The Yadana Gu festival has been held yearly since it was established for the first time over 625 years ago.

Dates:        10th Waxing Moon Day of               Wagaung (August 15 to 21)

Location:  Taung Pyone village,
          near Mandalay

Duration: 5 days

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