Peasant Day is a celebration in Myanmar that is held annually on March 2 to appreciate the hard work and dedication of the peasants and farmers, and their contribution to the economic development of the country. Do you know that it has been almost 74 years since Myanmar became a republic? A big chunk of the population in Myanmar are farmers, and needless to say, the country’s major source of economic growth depends on agriculture and farming practices. Peasants’ Day was created as a day dedicated to the skilled farmers who toil in the sun every day so that the citizens can have food to eat, and the nation can develop.
History of Peasant Day
There are pieces of evidence suggesting that early human settlements were prominent in Myanmar right from the Stone Age in 9000 B.C. to the Bronze Age in 1500 B.C., and also the Iron Age in 500 B.C. Myanmar was the trading route from China to India and often served as a transit. Early cities named ‘Pyu’ emerged around 200 B.C. By 700 A.D., the Bagan colony was created, and by 900 A.D., it emerged as a powerful kingdom.
By the 1600s, the Bagan kingdom had crumbled and was followed by the invasion of the Mongols. In 1786, King Bodawpaya conquered Assam and Manipur. It was considered the biggest kingdom in Burmese history. In 1852, the first Anglo-Burmese war took place and the Burmese kingdom lost modern-day states like Assam and Manipur to British India. After all the Ango-Burmese wars, Burma became a part of British India in 1886.
However, during World War II, the Japanese invaded Rangoon and the British occupation had come to an end. In 1948, Burma became an independent country. In 1962, a military coup took place in Burma, which transferred the power to General Ne Win. His rule lasted until 1989 when The Union of Myanmar was born and Myanmar (Burma) became a democratic country.
In Myanmar, 70% of the population are farmers or are involved in agricultural businesses. Even today, Myanmar remains the largest exporter of rice in the world. Different types of crops have also been grown in Myanmar in recent years, resulting in the country producing a variety of crops. Peasants’ Day was created as a gesture of gratitude towards the hardworking farmers, peasants, and their families for their service.
Peasant Day timeline
Burmese people roam the lands of pre-historic Burma during the Stone Age.
Burma becomes part of the British administration.
Military rule ends in Burma and Myanmar becomes a democratic country.
Peasants’ Day is created to show appreciation and gratitude for the work done by peasants and farmers.
Peasant Day FAQs
What is the main religion of Myanmar?
The main religion of Myanmar is Theravada Buddhism. It is the prevalent religion among the people of Bamar in Myanmar.
Who are Karen in Myanmar?
Kah-Rin or Karens refer to the indigenous people of Burma near the Burma-Thailand border.
Why did Myanmar change its name?
The name Burma was given by the British. The name of the region in the local language is Myanma. The country decided to name the place Myanmar when it became a democratic country in 1989.
How to Observe Peasant Day
Thank the farmers
Farmers are the backbone of any country — no farmers, no food. So take this opportunity to thank the farmers. Visit them personally if you can, or show gratitude by buying directly from weekly farmers’ markets.
Share it on social media
Let everyone know the importance of this day. Spread awareness about the important contribution farmers make to society. Take pictures and write articles on the welfare of farmers and post them online. You can also donate and encourage people to donate to this cause.
Read more about agricultural practices
Use this day to improve your knowledge about agricultural techniques. Read more about what techniques were used in ancient civilizations and how they’ve changed over the years. You will come across many interesting stories as you begin to read further.
5 Interesting Facts About Myanmar
The name is derived from Bamar
The name ‘Burma’ originates from the ethnic group in the region called ‘Bamar.’
Longyi is formal attire
A long cloth wrapped around the lower body, called a ‘longyi,’ is used by men and women for all occasions, including formal ones.
Betel leaves are a favorite
People of Myanmar love chewing on betel leaves infused with nuts and spices.
Thanaka is a natural sunscreen
Thanaka, a substance made from the bark of trees, is applied to the face — it acts as a natural sunscreen.
Thingyan is the biggest festival
Thingyan is a fun festival in Myanmar where locals and tourists engage in water wars.
Why Peasant Day is Important
It makes us realize the importance of farmers
The work of farmers is often underappreciated. The crops produced by farmers are not only important for providing food for the public, but also for the economic development of the country. Toiling in the sun is not easy, and this day makes us appreciate their hard work and grit.
It gives us a chance to help the farmers
This is a day when you can go out of your way to do something for farmers. You can help them financially and socially by raising awareness about their problems and encouraging people to come forward and stand with the farmers.
It gives us a chance to improve our knowledge
This is also a day of learning. It gives us an opportunity to learn more about agricultural practices in history and to see how these practices have evolved over the years and shaped the civilization we have today.
Peasant Day dates