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Equestrian Festival (Pyatho)

 

Pyatho (January) is the main month in cold season. The sky is clear of clouds and mist, and Khwar Nyo or clematis, a creeper with small fragrant flowers, blooms in Pyatho.

The festivel season ushered in by Thadingyut is in full swing. During the era of the Myanmar kings, Myinn-Khinn-Thabin or the Equestrian Festival was held. The four elements of war, namely, chariot, infantry, cavalry and elephant troops were turned out in full colour and splendour. Horse racing, polo matches, war dances featuring swords, spears and shields took place to the accompaniment of boisterous music.

The festival was also a test of the level of equestrian training and skills. The king and the queen themselves bestowed prizes to the outstanding contestants. This magnificent display is no longer held but descriptions of the old military displays and martial sports can be found in books.