Traditional handmade lanterns enjoy good demand ahead of Thadingyut Festival

Myanmar traditional handmade lantern businesses are earning a good income due to high demand in the rural market ahead of the light festival of the Thadingyut season, according to traditional handmade lantern makers.

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A man making traditional handmade lanterns at his workshop.  Photo: Tinzar Hlaing (IPRD)

“Normally, sales of lanterns rise in July (Warso), and most of the lanterns are sent to the rural regions by the end of July. As for the urban market, we have to send the lanterns in August. Furthermore, the cost of making the lanterns is increasing year after year due to the high price of raw materials,” said Ma Htay Kyi, a traditional lantern maker.
Myanmar traditional lanterns are usually made ahead of the Thadingyut Festival at 42nd street, southern part of Ward 840 in Mahaaungmyay Township, Mandalay Region. Most of the lanterns are purchased from Kyaukse, Sagaing, Shwebo, Namhkam, and Wundwin towns.
The price of handmade lanterns ranges from K150 to K3,500, depending on the size and design. Lantern makers are designing a variety of shapes, including Pyittinehtaung, giant, cube, aeroplane, truck, ship, rabbit, peacock, and other animal shapes, to penetrate the kid’s market.
“After the Thingyan festival, lantern makers start to trim the bamboos for raw drawing and the transparent papers needed to put on the shaped bamboos. The lanterns are sent to the markets after they are painted and sun-dried. At present, the sales of traditional handmade lanterns have declined compared to the previous years due to the inflow of China-made lanterns in the local market,” said Ko Phoe Kyaw, a traditional lantern maker.
“Myanmar traditional handmade lanterns are made of bamboo, transparent paper, wooden wheel, glue, and clothes string. Previously, entire wards conducted lantern businesses, but now, there are only four or five makers left due to the high cost of raw materials. Moreover, traditional lanterns can be easily damaged by the rain,” said the lantern makers. — Tinzar Hlaing (IPRD)
(Translated by La Wonn)

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