Each year after the harvest season the Ananda Pagoda Festival brings a thrum of activity to the ancient ruins of Bagan—the Ananda Temple. It's one of the biggest festivals in Bagan that symbolises the endless wisdom of Buddha. It is usually held in January or early February for around a week with the best time to visit at the last days of the festival. The aim of the festival is to raise money for the upkeep of Bagan’s thousand-year-old temple. Stalls and shops surrounding the temple sell everything from food to agricultural implements.
Villagers from around Bagan come to the festival in traditional bullock carts and arrange camps for the whole duration of the festival. Many famous local theatrical troupes also come to provide entertainment for the festival goers.
During the festival, 1,000 monks perform continuous chanting of Buddhist scriptures for 72 hours. As dawn breaks on the Fullmoon Day of Pyatho the pilgrims give donations to the monks. This festival is the best chance to enjoy the local atmosphere, see the ritual of Buddhists, and donate to the temple.