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Boat Races (Tawthalin)


In Tawthalin (September) the monsoon is thinning away and the skies are clearing. "The month of Tawthalin: rain softly patting, the mighty river rolls out like matting," goes the saying.

It is the month for boat racing. Regattas of the olden days were held under royal patronage, and boat songs were composed especially for the occasion. The boatmen wore varied-coloured livery matching the banners of their boats. The traditional boat races displayed not only speed but also skill and grace.

Boat racing is complex and there are 37 styles of rowing on record. Strokes named ' seagull-sweep ' and ' seagull-soar ' create pictures of racing boats sweeping and soaring over the river's surface.

Boat races are held in Kandawgyi ( Royal Lake ) in Yangon under the patronage of the Government. Teams from states and divisions and from government ministries participate in the races.

Another attraction during this month is the boat racing by the one-legged rowers of Inlay Lake.