Union Day in Myanmar

Union Day is a public holiday in Myanmar that is observed annually on February 12th. This holiday commemorates the day when the Panglong Agreement was signed in 1947, allowing Burma to become a unified country. Preparations for this holiday begin months in advance, and the Burmese people await it with great anticipation.

This holiday attracts many tourists due to the wide variety of patriotic and cultural Burmese events available around this day, including everything from parades to festivals.

The History of Union Day in Myanmar

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, came under British control near the end of the 19th century. The British did not rule Burma as a unified country but instead governed the outlying ethnic groups differently from central Burma.

After WWII, the head of the Burmese government and representatives from some of the Burmese states met to determine the future of Burma. On February 12, 1947, they reached an agreement and unified Burma as one country. In January 1948, Burma became an independent country. In 1989, Burma was renamed Myanmar.

Some Interesting Facts About Myanmar

Let’s look at some interesting facts about Myanmar that offer a glimpse into the culture of this country.

  • In Myanmar, tea leaves are used to make a dish called lahpet thohk—tea leaf salad.
  • The Shwedagon Pagoda is adorned with more than 4,500 diamonds, the largest being 72 carats.
  • The town of Putao is at the foothills of the Himalayas.

Observing Union Day in Myanmar

Typically, a couple of months before Union Day, the Union Flag is carried through the capital cities of each of the various Myanmar states. This is often accompanied by a parade, as well as concerts and cultural events.

The week before Union Day, the Union Flag is then moved through different towns until it arrives at the People’s Square in Yangon. There, celebratory services are performed. Other events that occur on this holiday include concerts and a variety of different festivals.

Where is it celebrated?
Myanmar (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
February 12 Monday
Next year (2025)
February 12 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
February 12 Sunday