Things to Do
June is in the low season for tourism and heavy rainfall begins during the month. Although the weather is hot and humid, there are still several interesting festivals worth watching. In addition, everything is cheaper than in the peak season.
Attend the Chinlone Festival
The Chinlone Festival, also called the Mahamuni Waso Festival, is held in Mandalay and takes place in the Mahamuni Pagoda, lasting day and night for a month. Participants arrive from all over the country to pay homage to this most revered shrine, and to offer tribute by playing the game of chinlone.
Chinlone is an ancient sport, originating 1,500 years ago at the royal court of Myanmar. Each team has six players in a small circle. They try not to let the chinlone, a small cane ball, touch the ground, just by using their feet, knees, shoulders, and heads.
It’s fascinating to watch the players’ artistic and aesthetic way of keeping the chinlone in the air. There are more than 200 acrobatic moves in total, such as handstands, spinning kicks, and back-flips.
Another selling point is live music from Myanmar's saing waing (a traditional orchestra) and also running commentary. While watching the numerous ways of playing chinlone, you can also enjoy some local music, being played to entertain the audience.
Attend the Nayone Festival of Tipitaka
The Nayone Festival of Tipitaka is a Buddhist religious festival. It's celebrated nationwide from 5th to 16th of June, at monasteries or religious buildings. If you would like to see the great ceremony, you should go to a famous temple, such as the Golden Palace Monastery (Shwenandaw Kyaung).
Recitation of Buddha’s teaching is not easy for the monks as they need to articulate it correctly in the Pali language (a language spoken in North India) and write it correctly. The ceremony is convened 24 hours a day and, for the monks, it is an opportunity to refresh their memories with all of Buddha’s doctrines.
In Buddhism, reciting and debating scriptures are the two main ways of learning. If you have a chance, it is interesting to see the monks reciting scriptures. You will hear the sound of recitation spreading throughout the temple, quiet on one hand, memorable on the other.