Myanmar, former Burma, is land of pagodas. It is also land of festivals. Water festival in April, Lighting festival in October, hot air balloon festival in November.
October is month of festivals as it is very important Buddhist length in Myanmar. Full moon day of October is important day for Buddhist. Gautama Buddha came back from heaven to the earth after preaching to Good Spirit. The day of Gautama Buddha came back to earth, lighting festival is celebrated to welcome back Buddha from the earth. For all Buddhist, full moon of Thadingyut is very important for religious occasion.
Kyauk Se lays one hour drive from Mandalay which is in flat fertile land surrounded by many rivers During the time of King Anawrahta, Kyauk Se district was rich rice bowl of his country.
King Anawrahta built Shwethalaung pagoda on the top of hill and donated big drum. King Anawrahta started the tradition of ringing the big drum end of Monsoon ordered for the benefit of people from the irrigated lands who were within hearing distance of the big drum.
Past time people from afar use to come riding on elephants bearing offertories. It was no longer possible to use real elephants and later for that purpose models of elephants fitted with carrying poles were made to carry the offertories to the hilltop shrine.
Then elephant made o paper and cloth on a bamboo frame and motivated by tow dancers hidden inside were substituted. This tradition is carried on to the present day usually celebrate on full moon day of Tandigyut .
Pre full moon day of Thadingyut, at Kyauk Se celebrate Elephant dancing festival. The tradition of creating elephant costumes for the Elephant Dance competition started in the early 20th century. Every year about 25 Elephants participate. Traditional costume style, elaborate decoration and youth participants are three categories they have to take care most. The frame is made of green bamboo and the body is covered by colorful paper. The head is connected to the body and the man in front can turn it. The trunk is flexible. There are two dancers inside the bamboo elephant. Festival celebrate for the whole day from 08:30 AM to 16:00 PM. People from far and near come to visit Kyaukse and watch the elephant dance.
Festival date for Gregorian calendar changes each year as Myanmar use lunar calendar for annual festival.