2017 Myanmar Public Holidays – Starting with Water Festival
8 April – The Thingyan Water Festival and New Year’s holidays start next week, and our office, like many others, will be closed from 10-23 April in observance. These holidays are oftentimes a staff member’s only chance to travel home (if they live outside Yangon) and see family. It is also the craziest couple of days in the country, with people of all ages joining in the public merriment. During Water Festival, no one is immune from getting squirted, including car passengers that don’t want to participate but have forgotten to lock their doors and keep their windows up.
Yangon is effectively shut down as public stages (called Pandals) with concerts, water hoses, and chaos, are erected on major roads all across the city. Traffic to/from and past these stages slow to a halt and gridlock the city.
This year, the government reduced the typically two-week-long holiday down to just one week, at the last minute, bowing to pressure from companies that noted the city and its commerce could not stand to be shut for two weeks each year. Last year, City Mart and other retailers had bare shelves at the end of April and into May as boats and containers were backlogged in the ports for months after the 2-week holiday, so there may be something to be said for not shutting the entire city down for two consecutive weeks.
Staff trying to work over the holiday may find their commute to/from the office difficult, and many popular restaurants close to allow their staff time off work, too. That said, f you’re not working and want to have some fun, it’s a great time to be in the country.
The Myanmore.com Guide to which restaurants are open over Thingyan is a helpful resource if you’re staying in town.
Here’s a list of the other Myanmar Public Holidays in 2017, as published on the Myanmar Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
- 2017 Myanmar Public Holidays – Starting with Water Festival
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