Paung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival [October 2-19, 2016]
The Paung Daw Oo Pagoda is the most important of all Buddhist religious sites in all of southern Shan State and located at Thar Lay Village of Inle Lake. It is part of the normal sightseeing in Inle Lake. The main attraction is the golden temple that houses five out-of-the-shape Buddha statues dated to twelve century.
Like many pagodas / Buddhist temples in Myanmar, Paung Daw Oo Pagoda has 26 days long festival and this could be the one of the longest procession on the water! There are hundreds of specially made festive boats that have a handle to hold in the middle and boats are manoeuvred by the traditional leg rowers. Each of these boats are tied with a rope in the form of a line and at the end of the line is the richly decorated Royal Berge that carries four out of five Buddha statues from the Paung Daw Oo temple. These Buddha statues tour around 22 villages on and around the lake for 26 days to bless and giving Inthar People a chance to make merits upon their visit right into the village monasteries.
This is the most joyous time of the year for the devout Inthar Buddhists at Inle Lake. They come out of their home on the canoes with their elaborated offertories on the silver trays and beautiful flower arrangements as the young leg-rowers on the festive long boats shout and sing and dance while towing the Royal Berge carrying the Buddhas to the village monastery for a lunch break or an overnight stop.
Although the whole festival is awesome to be experienced on any date, there are a few dates that are best for the guests to be experienced.
The best day to experience to see the entire procession line: October 8, 2016 (Lin Kin to Nyaungshwe)
First round boat races: October 8, 2016 (in the canal near Nyaungshwe)
The procession to the longest distance: October 16, 2016 (Kyaine Kham to Mine Phyoe)
Boat Races Final Rounds: October 19, 2016 (near Paung Daw Oo Pagoda)
During this period, the accommodation around Inle Lake tend to book out very early. Please do not hesitate to contact us to experience best out of this unique ceremony.
Here is the short video clip on the final rounds of boat races –