Traditionally, the Water Festival falls around mid-April, and it is usually celebrated over four to five days, culminating in the Lunar New Year day. Although it is almost impossible to celebrate the festival around mid-April in Buffalo for practical reasons, the Burmese community members retain their tradition by celebrating it in the last week of June each year. The history of Buffalo Water Festival dates back to 2005, when a group of Burmese community members decided to organize a small festive event for their families and friends in the backyard of the International Institute of Buffalo. To their surprise, the event was well received not just by their families, but also by friends from the mainstream communities of Buffalo.
Since then, the Burmese community has steadfastly celebrated the Water Festival each year with material and moral support from community members. Although the Festival has strong roots in Hindu-Buddhist traditions, Burmese people from all faiths and ethnicity wholeheartedly participate in it every year. In fact, the Festival has strengthened communal ties of various ethnic groups from Burma in Buffalo, as it is the most ethnically-diverse festival within the Burmese diaspora.