This year's Nat Pwe in Taungbyone attracted perhaps 100,000 people from across Myanmar's diverse religious, ethnic and cultural groups. Some came for the food, others for the party but most came to pay their respects to the famed spirits in the hope of attaining good luck.
Taungbyone — a small village about 20 kilometers north of Mandalay – is home to the largest spirit festival in the country. The spirit or nat — of people who died in an unnatural way are summoned at the festival or pwe. Each year around the full moon in August, ceremonies are held as the mediums get in touch.
Local transgender men and women are prominent and perform most of the traditional ceremonies as the nat wife or medium.
(Text and photos by Luke Hunt)