The Shan have their own calendar since ancient days started in AD 638. There are books in Tai script for calculating solar and lunar
First Waxing Moon of the First Lunar Month, Lern Seign, (vldefqAifrfgb0ef;ekdifj)is considered Shan New Year Day according
to Shan Calendar. There are three supposing reasons about the existence of Shan New Year.
1. The Shan Kingdom of Muong Mao was founded
in 450 Buddhist Era (BE).
2. The Abbot of Man Hai, SeLan, had written that in the year 450 BE there was the assembly of 150 learned
Buddhist monks where they re-wrote the three divisions of Buddha’s doctrine (i.e. the Buddhist Synod).
3. Sao Khun Sai @ Sao Khun Hong,
the son of the King of Muong T’sen (modern Yunnan) (rldif;oFef) with his four followers went to fetch the Buddha’s doctrine in the
land of Phar Tang Phar Taw and returned home in the 450 BE in the time of new harvest.
That is why Shan calendar year (yD@wB;) is based
on the 450 BE.
The Shan year is equal to Buddhist calendar year (Burmese year) minus 450 years.
For example, 2545 (Buddhist year) -
450 = 2095 (Shan year) = AD 2001
Shan are festival loving people. For the Shan life is meaningless without festival . There are festivals
all year round in Shan States. Traditional ceremonies take place throughout the year. Most of these festivals are related to Buddhist
calendar and very similar to Burman’s festivals.
The water-splashing festival (Swan Nam) (y.B;o.ef;erfh? y.B;omif;usmefb) during which
time the people splashing water to one another and to Buddha statute, prepare sticky rice food wrapped in banana leave(c0fjwlrfjulpfj)
and make offerings to earn merit for the Buddhist New Year. Shan people claim this festival as Shan culture but Shan Christians in
Burma see it as a Buddhist festival and do not allow its members to join festival.