Who’s heard of Chin-Lone?
Ok, so who’s heard of Chin-Lone? Not many of you we suspect.
Chin-Lone – or Cane Ball is an extraordinary mixture of performance and sport that has been played in Myanmar for over 1500 years. Teams of six players form a circle of about six meters with one player in the centre of the circle. They then attempt to pass a ball made of rattan to each other using only their knees, heads and various parts of their feet until the ball hits the ground.
By now you must be intrigued and want more! That being the case, we have the perfect solution for you: the annual Chin-Lone festival at the Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay is the place to be.
Mandalay is a beautiful place to visit even without the added attraction of the festival. The city was once a royal city and home to King Thibaw, the last king of Myanmar and there is still much evidence of its royal history. Although the fabulous palace was burned to the ground in the 1940’s, the massive walls, part of the gates and the surrounding moat, remain today.
During the festival more than six thousand players from Myanmar are joined by players from around the world. The action continues throughout the day and late into the night with twenty-six daily events meaning that over a thousand separate performances can be seen in the course of the festival. The games are played to the musical accompaniment of a traditional Myanmar orchestra to help the players ‘get into the zone’.
Nothing in Myanmar is far from a connection with the Buddhist religion and Chin-Lone is no exception. The more advanced players will become intensely focused as the game progresses and ultimately achieve an almost meditative state. The game is focussed around teamwork, friendship and mutual support, promoting both physical and emotional well being.
In addition to the team game there is also a solo version – usually performed by women – which leans more towards performance than sport.
So, now your appetites are whetted, come to experience this amazing festival for yourselves. Get a deeper insight into Myanmar culture and, as the festival occurs during the Myanmar Low Season, benefit from the fabulous money saving deals on offer.