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Karen New Year

Two weeks before January 1, the members of the Karen ethinicity celebrated their new year in southeastern Myanmar. Most villages celebrate with traditional dancing, plenty of food and drink, and raising the Karen flag.

Karen New Year is fairly new as far as holidays go, only going back to 1938, according to one source. It is a secular holiday, celebrated by all religious communities in the region.

In many villages, celebrations continue through the night and into the next morning. Despite the chill this time of year, many people sleep outdoors.

The holiday is right after the harvest season, and also after houses are traditionally constructed. It is always on first day of the month of Pyathoe in the Karen calendar.

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