Each year, the country of Myanmar hosts its Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival, an important cultural and spiritual event held at one of the nation’s holiest sites.
This year, the Sanctum Inle Resort is taking part in the event, with a package that will introduce travelers to 800-year-old Buddha images on Inle Lake. Situated on the banks of the lake, visitors can enjoy a one-day sightseeing tour of the pagoda festival, a two-night stay in a Cloister Deluxe room for up to two people, breakfast for two each day and dinner for two each night with the “Splendid Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival Package.” This also includes return airport transfers, WiFi access, use of the resort’s bicycles and a 10 percent discount on spa and laundry.
In a written release, Sanctum Inle Resort general manager Philippe Arnaud said that the festival provides “the most fascinating time hands down” to visit Inle Lake.
The festival is held from September 21 to October 8 this year, and is held at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, which houses five Buddha images “caked” in gold leaf.
Pilgrims from across Myanmar, the press release says, will descend on the lake for the festival to pay their respects to the sacred images. Meanwhile, they will be towed in a gilded barge by hundreds of Intha fishermen in long canoes.
During the festival, four of the images will be paraded around the lake in the barge along with gold and white umbrellas, flags and flowers as the procession makes its way to 14 villages on the lake. The fifth image, however, stays at the pagoda to “guard” the site during the festivities.
Each of the 14 villages welcomes the four images, whether with traditional Shan dances or martial arts on ceremonial boats. There are also rowing competitions between the villages, a highlight of the festival, based on the traditional, singular one-legged rowing style.
In the release, Arnaud said that the images rowed on the barge while being pulled by the leg-rowers is a sight “to behold.”