Cultural events are listed here with basic background details. For specific events, dates, and times, please see the Featured Events on the Cultural Calendar main page.
Manaw festival is the most significant event for the Kachin people. Tribes of Kachin gather and dance around erected Manaw poles, which originated as part of the ‘Nat’ or spirit worship of the past.
The Manaw Festival is mostly held at Myitkyina, a Kachin state also known as Manaw-land in Myanmar, but is celebrated by Kachin people from all over the world.
The Chiefs of Manaw wear long robes and headdresses of hornbill, peacock feathers, and horns. Fellow Kachin people who participate in Manaw dance must wear traditional tribal dress to participate. Men must hold a sword while dancing and women must hold a handkerchief or big fan.
Manaw patterns (manaw maka) are signature looks of Manaw Festival and Kachin people. There are a total of 12 pillars (Manaw poles), which are about 20 metres high that stand in the middle of the ground. The patterns painted on the Manaw poles have different meanings. These are usually pictures of sun, star, moon, hornbill and other animals. These patterns and designs can be changed depending on the occasion.
The Kachin community in New Zealand is not very big, so not many people celebrate Manaw. However, there are plans for the Kachin communities in New Zealand and Australia to come together and celebrate Manaw Festival.
Manaw is normally celebrated at the beginning of January.