The Karen community in Bendigo joins together to celebrates the Karen
New Year Festival with food, dances, songs and speeches.
Year is celebrated on the first day of the month of Pyathoe, in the
Karen calendar. This is in December or January in the western calendar.
The rice harvest is completed in the period leading to Pyathoe, and
according to Karen traditional religious practice, there must be a
celebration for consumption of the new crop. It is also the time to
divine the date for commencement of the next crop. Typically, this is
also when new houses are constructed, and the completion of these must
The first day of Pyathoe is not a distinct festival for any religious
group, so it is a day that is acceptable to Karen people of all
Karen New Year is celebrated throughout Burma, in refugee
camps and Karen villages in Thailand, and Karen refugee communities
around the world.
Karen New Year celebrations typically include Don
dances and bamboo dances, singing, speeches, and the consumption of lots
of food and alcohol.
The Karen New Year Festival in Bendigo is
organised by the Karen Organisation Bendigo (formerly Karen Democracy &
Development Organisation Bendigo).
here for more information about Karen New Year.