Shan State

waterfront Sankar Inlay
Sankar, South Shan State

Shan State

Shan State is situated on the mid-eastern part of Myanmar bordering China, Lao, and Thailand. Shan plateau is the land mass rises from 3,000 to 4,000 feet above sea level with many ranges. Most of the ranges stretch from north to south. Thanlwin river start from the Tibet mountains in China flows across the Shan state from north to south and flows down into the Gulf of Martaban. Shan people usually called Thanlwin Nam Khaung. Other rivers are Shwe Li, Nammatu, Mekong and Zawgyi. 

Shan state has a relatively low temperature as it is a plateau. December and January are the coldest months with a monthly temperature of less than 64’F. The hottest months are April, May, June, and July. Rainfalls differ according to the physical features in different areas. Westernmost and mountainous areas have more rainfalls and lowlands have fewer rainfalls. The whole state hs an average annual rainfall of 40 to 60 inches.

Although people living in Shan state are generally called Shans, there are over 40 indigenous races. Wa, Palaung and Myaung from Mon-Khmer tribe, Kachin and Bamar from Tibeto-Burman tribe and Shan, Sino-shans and Koekants from Sino-Thai tribe are also residing in Shan state. As Shan people are the majority in the state, Shan Language is dominant among other languages. About 95 percent of Shans profess Buddhism.

Shan festivals are related to religious rites. Novitiation ceremonies, donations of Buddha Images to monasteries or pagodas are held individually or collectively community-wise. When the festival is held, donors set up a temporary pandal and all the friends and relatives are cordially invited to attend the donation ceremony.

Shan people also hold house warming festival and Tarwatainthar festival. In Tarwatainthar festival, Shans usually conduct beautiful mythical bird dance with the accompaniment of Shan music. Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda festival is seasonal and during which, Buddha images from the middle of Inlay lake are shown around the villages in the lake. Many Buddhist all over Myanmar come up to Shan state to attend this festival and worship Buddha Images.

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