Waso is the fourth Myanmar month. It is part summer and part monsoon. It falls in June and July.
The full-moon day of Waso (On 8-July for this year) is significant as the day the embryo-Buddha was conceived, the day He preached the first sermon of Dhamma Cakka, the day He performed the miracles.
The Waso festival is annually held on the full moon of Waso throughout in my country, Myanmar. The festival commemorates the time when the Buddha gave his first sermon, to five monks. Pilgrims throughout the country gather wild flowers to offer at pagodas, and offer new robes to monks.
The day also marks the beginning of the Buddhist Lent of three months when members of the Sangha go into the rains retreat. The Buddhist Lent period is from the full moon of Waso until the full moon of Thadingyut (October). Monks are confined to the monastery by Buddhist code of conduct during the 3-month long Buddhist lent.
It is a time of ordination and novitiation into the religious order, with these events held since the days of ancient Myanmar monarchs for the flourishing of the Sasana.
There is also a practice of young men and women going on outings of gathering flowers to be offered at Buddha images.
A significant practice of Waso is the offering of monk’s robes to members of the Sangha for use during the Lent and so these robes are called Waso robes. Likewise there are also big candles called Waso candles offered at this time of the year.
Among lay people it is also a time to offer elders cakes, fruits and other offertories.