Theravada Buddhism is the majority religion and yet it has never been officially declared as the national religion. There are a few Christians and Muslims while Animism exists largely in remote mountainous regions. You can add a few Hindus because of the Indian influence in the country but arguably 90% are Buddhist. Tourists on Myanmar tour packages will immediately be struck by the number of temples and pagodas in the country while so much of life revolves around the lunar calendar rather than the one which the vast majority of tourists from outside South East Asia live by.The military regime has had little interest in religion and has done nothing to stop worship because religion cannot really threaten their grip on the country in any serious way.
Theravada Buddhism became central to life back in the 11th Century in the ancient capital of Bagan; there was once over 10,000 temples there and even today visitors enjoying a Myanmar holiday will be able to see 2,000. The religion gradually spread from there and as already mentioned it is the dominant religion today.
The dominant ethnic group theBamar as well as the Shan, Rakhine, Mon, Karen and Chinese are all generally Buddhist though that does not mean that spiritualism is excluded. There are still some issues with freedom of worship and there was still some monks under arrest after protests a few years ago.
Lent is the three-month period otherwise known as the rainy season, July to October, when there is extensive fasting and such things as marriages and moving house are not considered. There are many festivals throughout the year that revolve around Buddhism.
Christians make up a small percentage of the people, thought to be around 4%. The Kachin, Chin and Karen people as well asEurasians were converted by missionaries many years ago; the majority are protestant unlike the remainder of Indochina, Roman Catholic because of the French influence.If you are taking an Indochina tour package you may well see that evident as you visit different places.
This very small section is exclusively of Indian origin; there was an influx of Indians once the British colonised Burma. At one time the royal court had been influenced by Indian traders many years earlier and the architecture of Bagan is certainly typical of much of what was built in India around the same time. Most of the Hindus living in Myanmar today are in Yangon and Mandalay.Organised tours involving Myanmar travel will certainly include visits to Bagan, Yangon as well as Mandalay.
There is a synagogue in Yangon yet very few Jews remain; many left at the outbreak of World War II and more again at the military takeover.
Islam, mostlySunni, is practised in small communities largely in urban areas; Yangon, some towns in Rakhine State in the north, Panthay, mostly Chinese and Kawthaung where there are Malay Muslims. In total, they perhaps constitute about 4% of the population as well?