INLE LAKE, Myanmar — Sanctum Inle Resort is greeting one of the biggest events on Myanmar’s calendar, the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival, with a package introducing travellers to 800-year-old Buddha images on storied Inle Lake.
Pilgrims from across Myanmar will descend on the lake for the festival to pay their respects to the sacred images, towed in a gilded barge by hundreds of Intha fishermen in long canoes. The fishermen’s iconic one-legged rowing style is as famous as the lake itself.
Held from September 21 until October 8 this year, the festival begins and ends at one of the country’s holiest sites, Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, that houses five Buddha images caked in gold leaf. During the festival four of the images are paraded around the lake in the barge, festooned in gold, white umbrellas, flags and flowers, with the procession making its way to 14 stilted villages on the lake. The fifth image stays at the pagoda to ‘guard’ it during the festivities.