Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Chinlone festival kicks off in Mandalay

The Waso chinlone festival will get underway this week in Mandalay, with competitors from the United States and Germany expected to take part, the secretary of the event’s organising committee said.

Chinlone players participate in the Waso festival in May 2007. (Phyo Wai Kyaw/The Myanmar Times)Chinlone players participate in the Waso festival in May 2007. (Phyo Wai Kyaw/The Myanmar Times)

The annual festival, which is being held for the 85th time, begins on May 30. About 1650 teams will travel to Mandalay for the event, which takes place in a small stadium in the compound of Mahamuni Pagoda.

“More than 3000 teams applied to participate but we couldn’t accept them all so we decided who could take part through a lucky draw,” U Kyaw Thein said.

“Teams from Japan, the US, Thailand and Germany will come this year, while a group from Brazil is visiting to make a film about the festival,” he said.

This year’s festival will run for 55 days, five days longer than in 2012. Organisers have also increased the number of teams by 150, from 1500. Each day, 30 teams will perform between 9am to midnight.

“Solo players and female players are also included this year. I think fans will be pleased with the festival,” he said.

Each team pays an entrance fee of K2500, which is then donated to Mahamuni Pagoda and respected chinlon players.

Chinlone is a traditional sport in which teams of around five players keep a cane ball, known as a chinlone, from hitting the ground by using parts of their body other than their hands.