Myanmar Armed Forces Day is a yearly event celebrated on March 27. Known locally as ‘Tatmadaw Nay,’ it honors the people of Myanmar who rose against the Japanese during World War II. Armed Forces Day in Myanmar memorializes the army’s resistance to the Japanese occupation of the country in 1945. Every year, the event is observed in the country’s capital city, Naypyidaw, and is marked by a variety of celebrations, the most notable of which is a military parade and displays by Myanmar’s armed forces.
History of Myanmar Armed Forces Day
Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) was placed under British administration in 1886, and the country became known as Myanmar. Almost from the very beginning of colonization, there was a strong sense of hostility against the control of the British. Many Burmese citizens believed that the rising of Japan offered them an opportunity to achieve independence from the United Kingdom during World War II. In the independence movement, Aung San was a leading figure, but he was forced to flee the country and settle in China.
Following his conviction that the Japanese would establish Burma as an independent nation if they assisted him in driving out the British, he entered into a cooperative relationship with them.
When Japan invaded Myanmar in 1942, it was backed by Burmese nationalists. In the end, however, Aung San realized that the Japanese had no intention of granting freedom to Burma, and on March 23, 1945, he led the Burmese army in a rebellion against the Japanese, which assisted the Allied troops in removing the Japanese forces from the area.
It should come as no surprise that the main event on this day is a massive parade by the ‘Tatmadaw’ (the Myanmar military) in Naypyidaw, the country’s administrative capital. After being originally known as Resistance Day, the ‘Tatmadaw’ changed the name of the holiday to Armed Forces Day.
Myanmar Armed Forces Day timeline
Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) becomes a British protectorate.
Myanmar nationalists support Japan's invasion of the country when it invades Myanmar.
Aung San and his national army rise up, initiating attacks across the country and changing allegiances to the Allied forces resulting in the Japanese forces being rapidly driven from Burma.
Burma is renamed Myanmar by the military and its constitution is revised to allow for several parties once again, though it maintains rigorous control over media and selects which parties may participate in political affairs.
Myanmar Armed Forces Day FAQs
What was Myanmar's official name before 1988?
It was known as the Burma Union. After the Myanmar armed forces defeated a statewide pro-democracy movement in September 1988, the country’s official name (in English) was restored to the Union of Burma, which it had used when it acquired independence.
What is the history of Myanmar?
Formerly known as Burma, the origins of Myanmar’s people may be traced back to Indo-Aryans who originally inhabited the region in the seventh century B.C. and Mongolian invaders who conquered the country under Khan in the 13th century A.D., with some English influence brought in during the British Empire period.
What is the other name for Myanmar Day?
It is referred to as ‘Tatmadaw Nay’ in Myanmar, and it honors the resistance against Japanese control during World War II in the country.
How to Observe Myanmar Armed Forces Day
Try watch a Military demonstration
The largest and most noticeable commemoration of Armed Forces Day takes place in the capital city of Naypyidaw, where a massive military demonstration is staged. The general public is not permitted to attend this display, albeit select organizations are permitted to do so.
Listen to Myanmar music
A good way people celebrate Armed Forces Day in Myanmar is to listen to live music. You can celebrate by listening to music from Myanmar.
Host a celebration
In Myanmar, beyond the celebration in the capital city, numerous smaller-scale celebrations will take place throughout the country with fireworks shows, live music, and public events. You can replicate one on a small scale with your friends to celebrate their triumph.
5 Interesting Facts About Myanmar
Myanmar is located in Southeast Asia.
Change of name
Union of Burma was the country's official English name until 1989 when it was replaced by the Union of Myanmar, based on the word ‘Myanma’ (or, more accurately, ‘Mranma Pra’) which has been the country's name in the Burmese language since the 13th century.
Different religions are practiced in Burma including Hinduism, Buddhism, traditional beliefs, Islam, and Christianity.
Myanmar is currently ruled by the military.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Portuguese, Dutch, and English were active traders in the area.
Why Myanmar Armed Forces Day is Important
It’s about Myanmar independence
Without the military rising, Myanmar might not have gained independence when it did. This has allowed Myanmar to live as a sovereign state, free from external control. The authority to rule, make laws and judgments, and function independently of other countries, is a crucial characteristic of independence.
It’s about gratitude
It is a time for the people of Myanmar to give thanks to those who have paid the price for freedom and honor their sacrifices. In both people and the country as a whole, independence is still a very important concept.
It’s a celebration
As a public holiday, it is an important event for Myanmar to celebrate. This means that the citizens get to attend celebrations and everyone takes time off from school or work to celebrate this event.
Myanmar Armed Forces Day dates