The Nat Festival – Bagan, Myanmar 🇲🇲 February 2005

// Part 3 of 8 //

Again, as for the previous festival, it’s pure luck that drove us to today’s celebration. We were on our way to Mont Popa, when we noticed that some celebration was being held in the village’s temple: the Nat festival.

The Nats are spirits worshipped in Myanmar in conjunction with Buddhism. Almost all of the 37 Nats were human beings who met violent deaths.

Never to miss this kind of opportunity, we asked for the bus to stop and went inside the pagoda.

A quick scanning of the offerings: fruits …but mainly alcohol..In fact, the Nat U Min Gyaw lacked the desire and the will to combat two vices frowned upon in Buddhist teachings: alcohol and gambling. This annual festival offers a legitimate excuse to indulge, and apparently people don’t let this occasion pass without maximizing on the opportunity.


We were early, the only audience. It wasn’t long before we realized that the graceful dancer performing in front of the row of colorful Nat statues was in fact a man. He was wearing a long shiny embroidered dress with a train and heavy make up.

He invited us to his changing room…more like the backstage of a theater than a temple 😳

His colleagues were getting ready …

Even though we interrupted the rehearsals, we received a warm welcome, big smiles then were offered laminated “business cards” and stamped paper money which they promised will bring us luck.

Our guide explained that the the tips we handed out will be stamped and recycled to other guests as a “good luck charms”.

I still have them in my album, my lucky charms🍀…

Let the Party Begin

// Part 1 of 8//

Traveling in itself is a rewarding experience, and the icing on the cake is when you witness a particular celebration during your stay. If you do your homework properly, you can time your trip according to annual happenings in your planned destination. We did it when we visited Laos 🇱🇦 for the Boum That Luang Festival, worked it out to be in a Guatemala 🇬🇹 celebrating All Saints Day and next day’s colourful Day of the Dead …and while in Bhutan 🇧🇹, we ended the Druk Path Trek with a big celebration:The Thimphu Tsechu Festival.

However, you might stumble upon such events unknowingly and that’s even better…forget the anticipatory hype and the build-ups, the surprise factor doubles the pleasure and is truly the cherry on top of the icing on the cake..Talking from experiences, twice in Myanmar 🇲🇲 and 5 times in Peru 🇵🇪 !!


Shinbyu , Noviciation Ceremony- Pagan , Myanmar – February 2005


Nat Festival – Mt Popa, Myanmar February 2005


Boun That Luang Festival- Vientiane, Laos November 2007


The 20th anniversary of the School of Civil Engineering at Universidad Andina Nestor Cáceres Velásquez – Puno, Peru October 2011


           All Saints Day – Todos Santos Cuchumatan, Guatemala, November 2015 

The Day of the Dead – Zunil, Guatemala November 2015


The Thimphu Tsechu Festival – Thimphu, Bhutan October 2016