Shan traditional elephant-imaage pulling festival held

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Shan maidens grace the elephant-image pulling festival on 29 September.

The Elephant-image Pulling Festival, a traditional custom of the Shan ethnies to honour Abhidhamma Day on the full moon of Tawthalin as per the Shan calendar, was celebrated in Mongyawng township, Shan State (East) on 29 September.
“In this festival, we Shan ethnics come together to make life-size elephant figures using bamboo and paper as main raw materials. We adorn the elephant images with things to donate and showcase them to the public with devotees pulling the elephant figures on our way to monasteries. We donated things brought together with the elephant images to dedicated monasteries. We also entertain revellers with traditional dances and foods. We organize this festival to preserve it,” said Sai San Hla Aye, the leader of the Shan Literature and Culture Association (Shan State-East).
Shan people living in rural areas of eastern Shan State celebrate the festival every year with the hope of regional development, achieving bumper crops and avoiding natural disasters. Before the festival, groups of donors struggle to adorn their elephant figures to become more beautiful than those of other groups. — ASH/TH

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