What is Dancing Elephant Festival?
Myanmar’s Dancing Elephant Festival is a colorful spectacle featuring dance teams dressed as pachyderms.
This traditional festival coincides with the end of Buddhist Lent and the rainy season, which gives the celebration a boisterous atmosphere after three months of spiritual devotions and religious merit-making. The festival centers on teams of two dancing in large, handmade elephant costumes. The costumes worn by the dancers are newly crafted for each festival by participating villages. The villages spend several months creating the elaborate costumes for the dance competition weaving bamboo, paper mache, colorful fabrics, and a seemingly endless supply of glitter and gilt into a masterful piece of costume art.
The dancers spend long hours practicing together to give their costumes the appearance of a single creature gliding along in time with the steady rumble of a chorus of hand drums. Working in tandem inside the massive elephant costume, the dancers perform a plethora of acrobatic feats to impress the judges and audience.
When is Dancing Elephant Festival?
The Dancing Elephant Festival is usually held during October. As a traditional lunar calendar is used to select the festival dates, the times can shift several weeks between years. By planning in advance, our Travel Specialists can make the appropriate arrangements for you to attend the festival while on a luxury tour of Myanmar.
Dancing Elephant Festival Highlights:
The Dancing Elephant Festival is one of Myanmar’s most intriguing festivals. The handcrafted costumes are beautifully adorned, and the movements performed by the dance teams are a spectacle that cultural enthusiasts will be talking about for years after their Myanmar tours.
Where is Dancing Elephant Festival Celebrated?
The Dancing Elephant Festival is held annually in the village of Kyaukse, about 20 miles from the city of Mandalay. After reaching Mandalaly via a direct flight from Yangon, the village of Kyaukse can be reached overland in a private vehicle with a chauffeur.
Western-style clothing is fine to wear when attending the Dancing Elephant Festival.