Kyaukse Elephant Dance Festival

25 - 26 Oct 2017
Kyaukse, Mandalay

Intricately beautiful elephant costumes and traditional dances make up this historic October event.

  • When? 25th - 26th of October 2017
  • Where? Kyaukse, Mandalay 
  • Price: Free - tourists and locals simply gather around the stage.

Dancing multi-coloured elephants - nope you don't need to lay off the happy juice - Elephant Dancing is a real thing in Kyaukse, south of Mandalay. Every October hundreds of spectators come to the town to mark the end of Buddhist lent.

Huge bamboo-framed elephant costumes, operated from within, parade and dance to showcase the months of design work that went into ornate artwork, textiles and pattern-work. Each artists is said to keep his/her construction methods secret in order to wow and surprise the crowds. Musicians accompany the dances as judges (normally important town officials) look on. Many of the acts involve impressive acrobatics which, considering they are performed from inside an elephant costume, are pretty outstanding to watch. 

#travioortip: Get there early if you want a good view - the event is packed every year.

The next day locals gather to climb a nearby hill to present cakes and fruits to the spirits who are said to protect them. The Elephant Dance Festival is a great way to experience local Mandalay culture as well as see some pretty impressive acts too, so if you're in town, head along to catch the show. Who needs happy juice eh?

  • Get there: Fly into Mandalay airport and use trains or buses to get around.
  • Stay: Find somewhere to stay in Mandalay - pick somewhere near the train station if possible to make getting there even easier.

*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!