Lethwei in Kayin State

Lethwei Fightnight and Thingyan Funfair in Thaton

Image Series and Video Clips Part 1: Beginner Kid’s Fight

This video was captured in Thaton City, Kayin State, Myanmar, while the Thingyan (Burmese New Year) festivities in April 2013 took place. It is common in Kayin State that Lethwei Boxing Events are carried out as part of public funfairs.

At the beginning, the video shows some impressions of the festival's atmosphere and the play of the traditional percussion-orchestra (Sayensia*), which accompanied all the fights of the evening with rythms aligned with the intensity of the action inside the ring. From minute 2:10, the video shows parts of one of the action-packed kid's bouts of the evening.

The picture series below additionally provides some impressions of the traditional Lethwei event opening ceremony (Kato Bue*), in which sacrificial offerings are presented to invoke a fortunate conduct of the tournament. After the candles and incense stick are lit and the prayers are spoken, the tournament's officials and the promoters step into the ring one by one and welcome the audience by performing their own traditional Boxing Dance (Louvi Yi Pya*).

*spelling adopted from the book "Traditional Burmese Boxing - Ancient and Modern Methods from Burma's Training Camps" (2003), written by Zoran Rebac, who provides interesting descriptions of Lethwei rules, ceremonies and different tournament types as they were standard in the past decades.

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Image Series: Lethwei Fightnight in Thaton

(Part 1)