Full Moon Day of Tabaung in Myanmar is a Buddhist holiday that comes on the full moon of the third month of Myanmar Calendar. It is one of the important full-moon days in Myanmar since the myth has said that King Ukkalapa finished the construction of Shwedagon Pagoda and enshrined the sacred hair relics in it on this very day. The whole month of Tabaung is a time of celebration, colourful cultural events, and Buddhist devotion in Myanmar.
This is a time when Buddhist devotees will go to temples and `make merit”. It is also the time of the Shwedagon Pagoda Festival, the biggest one of the year in all of Myanmar. At the outset of this festival, there will be ceremonial offerings made to 28 different statues of Buddha. Then, there will be recitals of various Buddhist scriptures for 10 days straight. Smaller pagoda festivals such as Shwe Settaw Pagoda Festival and Alaungdaw Kathapa Pagoda Festival occur during this time too.
Another significant event happening on the full moon day is the tradition of sand pagodas. Riverbank residents pile up the sand in the shape of a pagoda on the sandbanks. Buddhists believe that the pagodas are to symbolise the virtues of Buddha. So, they hold that worshipping at any pagodas – being made of either bricks or sand – is no less beneficial than worshipping a living Buddha. The tradition is mainly observed in Mandalay and upper regions of Myanmar.