Union Day is always celebrated on 12 February, and this year, Union Day falls on a Monday, giving most people a rare three-day weekend.
For those who usually have Saturdays and Sundays off, some may use this opportunity to go on a short vacation or a pilgrimage to a nearby pagoda, while others may spend more time with family and friends. No doubt Yangon’s public spaces and pagodas will be filled with people and their families relaxing.
We’ve asked a cross-section of people how they will be spending their Union Day holiday.
U Maw Naing Tun (In-charge of Yangon’s Disaster Management Department)
A lot of civil servants spend their off days with their families. I will be spending the three-day holiday with my family visiting pagodas. We’re going to People’s Park on Union Day to join in on the celebrations there, and on the way home we may go to a bookstore.
Daw Yi Yi Mon (Mayangone Township IPRD)
I plan to stay at home with my family the first two days. On Union Day I’ll be helping out with distributing pamphlets with my colleagues. In March however, I plan to go on a pilgrimage with my family to local pagodas.
Sayar U Kyaw Min (Ministry of Education Staff, retired)
I just moved to Yangon from a rural area, so I’m out of touch with my neighbourhood, but I plan to stay at home and spend time with my family. We’ll discuss family matters and I can give them guidance. During the long holidays like Thingyan I usually go back to my hometown and make donations. The public holidays are the only time I can sit down with my working children and talk with them.
Ma Zinmar (Salesperson, Ever Seiko Co. Ltd)
I’m going to go to a beach with my friends. We haven’t seen each other in a while, so it’s exciting.
Daw Swe Zin Thein Tan (Sunshine Store House of Liquor)
I’m going with my family to Taunggyi, Inlay and Kalaw this weekend. Our children are not old enough for school yet, so we frequently go on vacations. Vacationing just releases all my stress and I enjoy visiting places I’ve never been to.
Ko Than Tin (office staff, Creative Myanmar Service Co. Ltd)
My wife and I are thinking of going to Ngwe Saung or Chaung Tha on our honeymoon this weekend. We’ll visit some pagodas and eat food cooked by local villagers there. We’ll play in the water and watch the beautiful sunset.
Ko Zaw Pyae Hmu (Office Staff, Nwe Ta Pin Trading Co. Ltd)
I’m swamped with work this month, but I have plans to go to Chaung Thar with my friends during Thingyan.
Daw Thida Win (Teacher, Nay Chi Private High School, Magway)
I’ll be on a work visit to Yangon this weekend, and I’ll probably be visiting its famous pagodas. However, my students have their matriculation exam coming up, so I’m quite occupied. But I do have plans to take a vacation, maybe abroad, in the summer.
Daw Ei Phyu Phyu Kyaw (Manager at Golden Milestones Travels & Tours)
A lot of people are going to Shwe Sattaw Pagoda this weekend. Many of the people travelling are parents of small children and they are mostly heading towards Chaung Thar. There will be more people travelling once the matriculation exams are over.
U Patrick (Cofounder of Danta Travel Co. Ltd)
The major destination for the week is Shwe Sattaw Pagoda and Mawtin Soon Pagoda, and people are showing increased interest with travel packages to Dawei. After the matriculation exams there will be more travelling to Chin and Kachin states, specifically Myitkyina.
Zaw Gyi, Ohnmar Thant, Myat Sandi