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Myanmar Calendar 2019

Weather patterns are increasingly different from the past database although offically there are three seasons namely hot season (February to June), rainy season (June to October) and cool season (October to February). Unusual weather conditions could happen in any place any time. Always check for weather forecast and report before going out for a trip. Also look out for the news of land or mud slide, flood, flood in the caves, wild fire and dust, extreme dry or wet conditions and prepare accordingly before you go out.

Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (Myanmar)
Thailand Meterological Department
Department of Meterology and Hydrology (Laos)

Long holidays (Sat to Monday, Friday to Sunday, and Newyear holidays) are crowded at locally famous tourist places. Highway buses, trains, boats, domestic flights could be full or over booked. Highway roads shall be congested and more accidents likely occur.

On the full moon days there are Buddhist festival arrangements in many towns and cities as well as in the quiet temples in the country side villages.

January 2019

01 Jan = New year day,
04 Jan = Independence day
20 Jan = Full moon day (Pyartho)

Generally the weather is cool in the country side, in the hills, forested lands and cold in the higher mountains. Some areas may receive occasional light shower. High tourist season. Rivers still hold good water and currents. Hilltribe regions of many mountains throughout Laos; eastern, western and northern Myanmar, western and northern Thailand are cold and very beautiful with wild flowers, puffs of cooking smokes from the villages and morning fog amids rolling hills.

February 2019

12 Feb = Union day
19 February = Full moon day (Dhapodwe)

Climate in low land plain and valley areas are getting hot especially day time. Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan plain (Myanmar); Vientiane and southern Laos along the Mekong river; greater central and north-eastern Thailand as well as valley areas in the north will be hot to quite hot during day time.

On Dhapodwe full moon day, people in Myanmar celebrate traditional harvesting period with festival of "Hta-Ma-Ne", a kind of cooked sticky rice (glutinous rice) crushed in oil with addition of ingredents such as ground nuts, sesamum seeds, ginger and coconut slices.
March 2019
31    12

02 March = Peasant day (Farmers' day)
20 March = Full moon day (Dabaung)
27 March = Armed Forces day

Temperatures everywhere are shooting up. In the plain areas and crowded cities it could be as hot as or even hotter than 40º C during day time. Visit of ancient Bagan temples may be in the morning and sunset time. Catch the sunset from the top of a temple. Good time to go to the higher land in Myanmar (Shan, Chin, and upper Kachin states), Thailand and Laos. Even in the hilly regions it is expected that cimate may be warm to hot.

The Ayeyarwaddy river in Myanmar will have lower water and more sand banks. If the cruise boats still go, their arrival times will be late. Unless there is unusual heavy rain upstreams, lower Mekong river water level will be quite low to very low.

In many pagodas, especially in Myanmar, there will be festivals with stage shows, traditional dance, magic show, puppet, dramas, food stalls, and shops selling comsumers' products on the days around the fullmoon day.

April 2019

14, 15, 16 April = Thin Kyan newyear holidays water splashing festival
19 April = Full moon day (Dhaku)

On the full moon day evening peoples in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos visit the temples to make merit for the lunar new year. This is more appealing in a quiet village temple in the hills.

One of the hottest months. Sometimes light rain is received. Lunar new year is celebrated in Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. Water throwing is the strongest in Myanmar. People who do not want to get wet may stay indoors till 6 pm. Travel during the holidays will be difficult, hot and wet. Booking of flights, train and hotels must be done well ahead. All the tourist destinations in Thailand are crowded.

May 2019

01 May = Labor day (Workers' day)
18 May = Full moon day (Khason)

Hot month in the region. Day time temperature will sometimes be unbearable in the low land, city areas, and valley areas in the hills with little trees for some people. It is also the start of the low tourist season with possible hotel prices falling down. Hills, sea sides, and islands may be the good places to go for vacation. Paddy farmers prepare for plantation of new rice crop. Occasional light rains or heavier showers are expected during the month. Going for forested hills will need rain gear and leech socks.

On full moon day of Khason, people in Myanmar pour water at the root of sacred "Bo" tree or "Bodhi" tree under which the Buddha attained his enlightenment.

June 2019
30     1

17 June = Full moon day (Nayong)

Rainy seaon officially begins, but it is still hot to very hot in the plains with the outside day time temperatures above 35º C. For tourists it is good time to stay in rural shaded or wooded areas, and villages in the hills securing the scenic views of nature under the cloudy sky. The ground can be wet and there are leeches in some parts of rain forest. Green rice fields are in the paddy growing areas outside the cities and towns, a busy month for the farmers. Cow boys and girls can be seen enjoying their simple lunch under a tree or in a bamboo hut while their cows feed on the grass.

Forests recover with new young leaves and plants, and rivers and waterfalls start filling up. White water rafting and canoeing will be possible in some rivers.

Thunder storms will occasionally come to the coastal areas. Traveling to the far away islands in ferry boats may be a little more difficult due to the rough sea. Sudden downpours can flood the city streets especially if the drainage canals are filled with plastic and other garbage.

July 2019

16 July = Full moon day (Waso)
19 July = Martyrs' day

July is the beginning of the Buddhist lent. Peoples offer food, shelter, robes and medicines to the monks who are going into rain retreat.

The rain is moderate to heavy. Most rivers are close to their usual full capacity, the forest and small wildlife recover and grow. Tourists still can go to many places and do sightseeing amids cleaner air under the rain clouds. Rain coats or umbrellas, rain boots or rubber boots if you expect muddy or flooded grounds, appropriate medicines and cleaning gear should be prepared. Even when we talk about rainy season or any other seasons in these tropical regions, there are infact no predictable pattern of climate except that it will be hot or rain.

In Thailand and Laos white water rafting and canoeing could be done in many rivers. Together with rain leeches appear on the wet ground in some parts of forest.

August 2019

15 August = Full moon day (Wa Khaung)

This month is usually peak of the rainy season. It may rain average of around 4 or more hours a day in many places. Still many tourists come this time taking the advantage of un-crowded places. Good time for white water rafting and waterfall visit. The sky patterns in the morning and evening create constantly changing strange beautiful scenes.

Rain gear and medicines for water related health problems should be packed in your travel essentials.

September 2019

13 September = Full moon day (Taw Thalynn)

There are boat races on rivers, ponds and lakes in many parts of the region. The rain is still pounding throughout the region, and some places especially the northern hills and areas close to the sea receive heaviest rain. Most rivers are full and good for white water rafting, canoeing and waterfall visit with careful planning. Paddy fields are green and the background mountains are also under the green canopy of rain forest.

Keep rain gear and look out for the news of floods and land or mud slides or unusual weather forecast. Check for ground and air conditions and weather before going out for a trip and prepare accordingly.

October 2019

13 October = Full moon day (Thadin Kyut, lighting festival)

The month of end of Buddhist Lent or rains retreat. There are festivals of lights on the full moon day. On the days around the fullmoon day houses, buildings, bridges, streets will be illuminated. Pagodas will be crowded.

On Inle lake, southern Shan state of Myanmar, there will be a festival at Phaung Daw Oo pagoda. Buddha images from Phaung Daw Oo pagoda are placeed on a decorated barge called "Karaweik" (Mythical bird) and taken around the lake stopping at villages for peoples to pay homage.

This is the beginning of the high tourist season and prices start going up. Yellow paddy fields can be seen along provincial highway roads and railway lines. Early paddy fields maybe harvested this month. The rain amount and frequency maybe getting lesss but not sure.

However the southen parts of Myanmar and Thailand (with sea shores) still receive good amount of rains. Other parts of the region are still under occasional rain shower. It is thus still a good time for white water rafting and canoeing.

November 2019

11 November = Full moon day (Thasaung Mong)
21 November = National day

In Myanmar lighting festival is on the full moon day, in which the streets and the buildings are illuminated. People offer the monks the robes, writing equipment, accessories, etc. In many places you can visit the events of weaving of monks' robes within a night time. Teams of young women compete in the festival locally known as "Ma-Tho-Thin-Gan". Crowds watch as the ladies start weaving in the evening, through the night till in the early morning to offer the finished robes to the monks.

Some men and boys are ordained to become monks and novices for a week or so period during this month.

The weather is good all over the country. Many tourists arrive and enjoy the sights and scenes of the country. You should have planned your travel in November, December at least a couple of months ahead.

In Thailand people celebrate Loi Krathong festival by floating "Krathongs" (made of coconut, banana leaves, bamboo and wood in the shapes of lotus, swan, mountain and so on) containing flowers, joss sticks and candles on the water. By floating the Krathongs on the rivers and canals people believe that they can expect for the good things to come next. Sukothai is the most popular place for this festival.

With the increasing popularity of 'Loi Krathong' the problem of garbage is getting bigger.

Southern parts of Thailand and Myanmar still receive some rains. Paddy harvesting season in many parts of Thailand, Myanmar/Burma and Laos.

December 2019

11 December = Full moon day (Nat Taw)
26 December = Kayin new year day

One of the busiest tourist months. The weather is fine and mostly cool to cold in the highlands, beautiful, and good hotels and popular spots are crowded. However compare to Thailand, places in Myanmar and Lao still offer their original charms and beauty and thus very enjoyable except for the lack of enough options in good hotel rooms and transportation.

More photos from travels and trips in Laos, Thailand and Myanmar