Clayware Festival draws avid travellers to Ohbo Ward in Mandalay

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Crowds of shoppers and vendors gather for annual household clayware and joyful toy pot festival in Mandalay yesterday.

The clayware festival took place in the Ohbo-Shwegyin ward of Aungmyethazan Township, Mandalay, on 24 August where hordes of visitors flocked to procure earthen household utensils and delightful toy pots for children.
The festival held in a single day — the eighth waxing of Wagaung every year — was bustling with vendors and buyers who converged to exchange an array of wares such as toy pots, earthen pots, vases, drinking water containers, and bamboo utensils.
“The festival was thronged with a larger number of visitors in the afternoon than in the morning. Visitors bought toy pots for their children. This year’s prices of toy pots were higher than last year. Vendors sold a set of eight small toy pots for K1,000 last year but five pots for K1,000 this year. Prices of toy pots depended on heavy rains and other commodity prices,” said toy pot vendor Ko Myint Thein.
Two days ahead of the festival, vendors arrived at the festival venue and started selling various items of toys made of clay, fetching more than K1,000 to K2,500 per unit. Clay toy pots were made in the villages near Inwa of Mandalay, where they could take quality clay for making toy pots.
Some vendors sold flowers. Visitors kept these flowers on their heads and went round the festival. Other vendors sold traditional snacks and household utensils made of bamboo. Such a single-day festival has been held for many years, according to a resident from Ohbo Ward.
The clayware festival is one of the intangible cultural festivals of Myanmar. It is held on a single day every year, leaving indelible impressions on both locals and travellers alike. — Maung Aye Chan/TTA

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