Calendar of Events

The optimal moment to embark on a journey to a destination is during a festival or traditional celebration. Such occasions provide a unique window into the local culture and way of life, allowing travelers to gain a profound understanding of the place and its inhabitants. For those seeking to delve into the intricate tapestry of culture, beliefs, lifestyle, sustenance, artistry, and traditions woven by the Shan and various other ethnic groups in Mae Hong Son province, these events and festivals serve as insightful portals, unveiling the authentic essence of the local community’s identity and heritage.

Poi Lu Kaow Yaku:
Venue: Mae Hong Son Municipality
Date: February
After harvesting season, the villagers of each village will bring the new rice to cook for Kaow Yaku by mixing sticky rice with coconut milk, molasses, and peanut, and sprinkling it on top with shredded coconut offering at the temple before making a procession through the street giving it to relatives and others for a merit.

Tea tasting festival:
Venue: Ban Rak Thai Village, Mae Hong Son
Date: February
A Tea Tasting Festival It is held every year at the Chinese Village (Baan Rak Thai) to promote tourism and the best quality tea produced in this village. There are a lot of typical dances and plays within the festival that show the traditions and cultures of Chinese Yunnan.

Muang Sam mork (Winter Fair):
Venue: Mae Hong Son Municipality
Date: February
Held every February of the year, there are products from various organizations, governments, and private departments to publicize the portfolio of each department, including the shows of various hill tribes in Mae Hong Son province to make the festival more interesting.

Poy Sang Long (The Novice Ordination) Tradition:
Venue: All District of Mae Hong Son Province
Date: March, April
Poy Sang Long is considered the great procession of Shan, which they have inherited for hundreds of years since they evacuated into Mae Hong Son province, spending a long time in preparation and having a large number of people to join the tradition. The objective of the tradition is to let the children learn Dharma and bring a vast amount of merit to their families.

Songkran Festival:
Venue: All District of Mae Hong Son Province
Date: April
The Songkran Festival is held in April of each year, which is summer. In order to reduce the heat of the hot season, people will throw water towards one another along the road. There will be a Buddha procession for people to spring water on it for their prosperity at Chong Kham Lake, and there will also be boat racing, a Miss Songkran contest, and other activities. On the last day of the festival, people will go to make merit at temples and go to ask for forgiveness and blessings from their relatives.

Poi Jati (The Worship of a Sand Pagoda):
Venue: Wat Phra Non Temple, Mae Hong Son Municipality
Date: June
Poi Jati or The Worship of a Sand Pagoda is one of the long traditions of Shan. The people will carry sand into the temples to build a pagoda, which will be decorated with flags, different colors of flowers, and shining beautiful lamps at night. The purpose is to offer worship to the Buddha for exorcism and good fortune during the planting season.

Chong Phara tradition:
Venue: Mae Hong Son Municipality
Date: October
Chong Phara, or the Castle of Buddha, is an art of Shan made of bamboo and pad with mulberry paper, colors of paper and various local fruits, decorated with a lamp; and there will be a parade along the road in town; after that it will be carried to the temples and houses.

Poi Learn Sib Ed (End of Buddhist Lent Tradition):
Venue: Mae Hong Son Municipality
Date: October
Poi Learn Sib Ed is one of the most important traditions in Shan. There are a lot of ongoing activities, such as offering food to the monks (Tak Bat Devo in Shan) at Prathat Doi Kong Moo Temple. Both of the roads and houses will be decorated with colorful, beautiful lamps and very many local shows that concern the lifestyles, cultures, and traditions of Shan.

Poi Aok Wa (End of Buddhist Lent Tradition):
Venue: Mae Sariang Sub District Municipality
Date: October
Poi Aok Wa or End of Buddhist Lent Tradition of Mae Sariang district, the villagers will build simulation castle or Chong Phara for local people in front of the houses to welcome the Buddha in coming back to the world. There is a lot of entertainment like giving alms, the processing of thousands of candles, and both sides of various streets will be nicely decorated with candle lamps.

Poi Kad Lu (End of Buddhist Lent Tradition):
Venue: Pai Sub District Municipality
Date: October
Poi Kad Lu is End of Buddhist Lent Tradition of people in Pai district. The ceremony will have no difference between Mae Hong Son Muang district and Mae Sariang district. There are the buildings of Chong Phara, which are decorated with candle lamps, fruits, flowers, and colorful pattern cut paper. There are local art performances, but the interesting activity is buying and selling at the market from morning until night to prepare things for making a merit; and at the market will be decorated with lamps and beautiful bright lighting candles.

Bua Tong Blossom Festival:
Venue: Doi Mae U Kho, Khun Yuam District
Date: November
The Bua Tong Blossom Festival will be held at Doi Mae U Kho (Mae U Kho Hill) in Khun Yuam District every year during November and December when Bua Tong (Mexican Sunflowers) are fully blossoming. There are tents for rent to provide for the tourists who would like to stay overnight and many other activities to welcome the tourists, too.

Loy Krathong Festival:
Venue: All District of Mae Hong Son Province
Date: November
Shan will arrange the Loy Krathong Festival each year on the full moon night of November. The villagers will make krathongs (a bowl made of banana leaves) to float on the rivers or swamps. Houses will be decorated with colors of lights; in addition there will be a lot of various entertainments. Krathong contest and a beauty contest (Miss Nopamat).

Perd Muang Tai (Shan culture festival):
Venue: Mae Hong Son Municipality
Date: December
This mentioned activity has its own objective of preserving Shan’s food culture in Mae Hong Son province. Tasting typical Shan food, touching seven tribal lifestyles in Mae Hong Son, a Shan dance show, which is the uniqueness of Shan in Mae Hong Son, and performances of the tribes living in Mae Hong Son province.

Poi Muang Kapa (Maze Tradition):
Venue: Wat Don Chedi Temple, Mae Hong Son Municipality
Date: December
Maze Tradition or Poi Mung Kapa in Shan is Shan tradition according to the belief in Buddhism about Wasandorn Shadok, who was expatched from town to live in Maze. When the nearby villagers knew and brought food with flowers, incense sticks, and candles to offer him. The villagers believe that the person who can pass through the Maze to Wasandorn’s hermitage will be successful in every aspect; it is considered an auspicious aspect of life.

Shan People Mae Hong Son
Chong Prara Mae Hong Son
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