Chinlon, a traditional game of beautiful Myanmar has been co-existed with the locals since the time immemorial. This is a game in which a four- inch cane ball is tossed and kicked around by good player or a team of players in circle. Due to the material used to make Chilon (cane or rattan) is profuse in many forests of Myanmar, very light, resilient but long-lasting chinlons are cheap and easily available at any village stall.

Chinlon - Traditional Sport of Burmese

Chinlon – Traditional Sport of the Burmese

Chilon traditionally is considered as the men’s daily pastime. Myanmar people played Chilon as a way to do exercise when the back and limbs got cramped due to sitting, working and standing for too long. Since the aftermath of the war, both men and women could play it. While playing this sport, they normally wear shorts and canvas shoes. While chinlon playing provides men with a good chance to show off their masculine physical beauty, especially if their body, hands and chest are well tattooed, women play chinlon to display feminine body elasticity and skills in playing it.

Monks playing rattan ball - Chilon

Monks playing rattan ball – Chilon

Foreigners consider chinlon as Myanmar football as people use many part of their body except for their hands to toss, kick and keep the ball in the air as long as possible. However, unlike soccer, there is no formal scoring and no goal to shoot in chinlon playing and no fixed number of players. This game can be played by any number of players, from 3 to 10 players forming a circle and avoid the cane-ball falling on earth. All age groups play this game joyfully, mostly in rural and suburban areas. Some virtuoso in this art can display her extraordinary talent for tossing and keeping the ball for very long time, and showing different kicking styles, sometimes combining with using cane rings at the same time.
Chinlon - Myanmar Traditional Sport Chinlon - Myanmar Traditional Sport






Chinlon playing is usually accompanied by music at festivals. A band of percussion and wind instrumentalists continuously play while the chinlon play is on. The music changes its tempo in harmony with the movements of chinlon and players. A skillful player can play with four to eight chinlons using all possible tactics to keep them on or around his or her body.

Foreigners are usually in awe and applaud while watching a person standing on one leg all the time, taking every possible posture and movement to keep the chinlon in the air or to prevent it from touching the ground. Chilon requires the players to make a number of endeavors to toss, kick and bounce.
No one could know exactly when chinlon playing emerged in Myanmar. But this kind of sport has become an indispensable part of the locals’ lives and exists deeply in their heart.

See the video of Myanmar Waso Chilon Festival