Rustik Travel

Myanmar: Dancing Elephants Festival, Kyaukse

12/10/2019 - 14/10/2019 All day
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The full moon of the Thadingyut month is when Buddhists believe the Buddha descended back to earth after three months of preaching in the spiritual realm above. While the rest of Myanmar celebrates it by lighting the Buddha’s way home, the town of Kyaukse near Mandalay commemorates it a little differently: with a “Dancing Elephant” festival, populated not by real elephants, but by pairs of dancers in gigantic elephant costumes.

The intricately-designed elephant costumes are made of paper, bamboo, glitter, satin, and glass. The dancers in the costumes move to the beat of drums, circumambulating the Shwe Tha Lyaung Pagoda a total of three times. Dancers are awarded prizes for their dancing skills and the beauty of their costumes; the rest of the community celebrates with feasting and entertainments throughout the temple grounds.

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