What is Waso Chinlone Festival?
The Waso Chinlone Festival is Myanmar’s largest traditional sporting event.
Chinlone (Cane Ball) is an ancient non-contact sport similar to modern day Hacky Sacky. A team of six stands in a small circle attempts to keep a small ball aloft using only their feet, knees, shoulders, and head. Team members trade off as the center player in the circle while the other five players assist. As much a form of dance or martial art as it is a sport, Chinlone is scored by player performance. The players perform spellbindingly aerobatic maneuvers to keep the ball aloft, and victors are determined by how beautifully they play the game.
Hundreds of teams gather from across Myanmar for the Waso Chinlone Festival in Mandalay every year. Though the traditional sport lacks direct contact or opposition of from other teams, it’s still a fierce competition with every team and player attempting to perform the most skillfully and gravity defying moves they can to keep the tiny Chinlone ball in the air. Backflips, spinning kicks, and handstands are just a few of the moves used in the game that boasts more than 200 aerobatic strikes used by players.
When is Waso Chinlone Festival?
When planning a luxury tour of Myanmar, it’s best to plan well in advance so our Travel Specialists can confirm the sporting event’s exact dates for your custom itinerary.
Waso Chinlone Festival Highlights:
Cultural enthusiasts need little convincing to witness this ancient sport that traces its origins back some 1,500 years to the royal courts of ancient Burma. The ballet-like movements of the Chinlone players are awe inspiring, and should not be missed while sightseeing in Myanmar.
Where is Waso Chinlone Festival Celebrated?
The Waso Chinlone Festival runs for more than a month at the Maha Muni Pagoda in Mandalay, with hundreds of teams from across Myanmar participating.
The sporting event takes place inside the Maha Muni Pagoda’s compound, so it’s best to dress modestly when attending. Choose clothing that covers shoulders to knees in keeping with Buddhist traditions of modesty.