Kayin New Year day is a National Public Holiday in Myanmar. Traditional Kayin costume was worn by most of the celebrants at the events. Many young and old Kayins wear their traditional colorful dresses and go around the city, visit relatives and enjoy the festival. In Hpa An, the capital city of Kayin State, dance competitions are held every year.
The Kayin, or Karen, people count the years from the first day that the first migrant tribe from Mongolia settled in the land of Myanmar, giving birth to the Kayin people. They are the second largest ethnic minority in Myanmar, and they live throughout much of Lower Myanmar. They have never had their own kingdom, and they have always been treated as a subject race. Even so, Kayin people are proud of their heritage and fight to preserve it for future generations.
The Kayin New Year is an important time when the Kayin communities can join and celebrate their unique cultural identity within Myanmar with dance contests and songs while wearing their traditional costumes. The Kayin New Year celebrations are focused on preservation of Kayin language, culture and literature, Kayin national unity, and development. For the celevrations of the Kayin New Year, young and old Kayins wear their traditional costumes of woven tunics over red longyis and go around the cities to visit friends and relatives to enjoy the festival. In Hpa An, which is the capital city of the Kayin State, dancing competitions are held every year. All over Myanmar there are other ceremonies to present the Kayin cultural heritage, like the Kayin dance or the Kayin Bamboo dance.