Manao or Manaw, meaning "peace and unity" is the festival of the various Kachin sub-tribes celebrating their culture. The impressive event is over 30 years old and held in the beginning of January. The founders of the festival were the hill people or the Scots of Myanmar. It also marks victory in battles, the reunion of the tribes, etc.
The main arena is at the permanent Manaw field, a large site with huge painted totem poles, quite similar to the totem poles of North American Indians. The main attraction for visitors are the mass dances, performed in tribal costume and danced around the erected Manaw poles. Men and women dance separately, some of the dances involve over 2,000 people. It's a very popular festival in Kachin State. A crowd of over 300,000 people is attracted by this event every year. If you want to fully join the delightful spiritual dance, come to Myitkyina or Putao in January. The dates vary from year to year, so we recommend checking the exact dates before planning your trip.