Kayin New Year is considered as the national day in Myanmar, and the date of the celebrations varies among years since its calculation bases on the lunar moon calendar. It is held on the first day of the moon month of Pyatho.
According Myanmar’s history, people count the years from the first day that the first migrant tribe from Mongolia settled in the land of Myanmar, giving birth to the Kayin people. They are the second largest ethnic minority in Myanmar, and they live throughout much of Lower Myanmar. They have never had their own kingdom, and they have always been treated as a subject race. Even so, Kayin people are proud of their heritage and fight to preserve it for future generations.
During the festival, young and old Kayins wear their traditional costumes of woven tunics over longyis and go around the cities to visit friends and relatives.
In Hpa-An, which is the capital city of the Kayin State, dancing competitions are held every year. All over Myanmar, there are other ceremonies to present the Kayin cultural heritage, like the Kayin Done Dance or the Kayin Bamboo Dance. The Kayin national flag is hoisted at dawn, and the ceremony is followed by dancing shows, while steamed sticky rice is served. There are speeches and awards for the best students of the year, while traditional and cultural exhibitions are also held about Kayin people’s history. The celebrations have been known to go on for many days.