Taungyi, Hot Air Balloon Festival

hot air balloon festival

Hot air balloon festival otherwise Tazaungdaing lights festival yearly holds in the capital of Southern Shan State, Taungyi. It usually celebrates in November, the month of Tazaungmon in Myanmar calendar. Furthermore, this moment is the end of the rainy season as well as the transition to the winter. The hot air balloon festival (fire balloon festival) which performs at night is not only celebration but also mainly focus on competition. In the daytime, there will be the weaving competition and launching animal-shaped balloons into the sky. To be honest, night time activities are the most noteworthy. Hope the information in this post will be crucial for everyone.

Conditions of Hot Air Balloon Festival Ground

The festival ground is pretty massive and can be available for the massive crowds more than ten thousand people. Therefore, it can be assumed as one of the crowded and largest festivals in Myanmar. In addition to the hot air balloon, there will be the human-powered Ferris Wheel and food stall where you can enjoy varieties of Shan traditional food. Dozens of people prepare the balloons the months in advance. They have to spend a lot of money for that balloon. However, some people in other regions usually say that this hot air balloon festival is just wasting the money. Please don’t tell these words to the Shan people. A new hot air balloon team will come out with the great commotion for mostly every 30 minutes. A group of people carry out the flattened balloon and be careful not to get it wet. When they reach in the middle of the ground some prepare torches, candles and making orders with the microphone. The judges sit around and mark them such as how timing the team and everything is coming together.

Sein Na Pan Fire Balloon

hot air balloon festival
The fire balloon which is decorated with candles in the pattern about Buddha

If you are in the hot air balloon festival ground, you will see that there are two types of fire balloon. The first one is embellished in the candles, which specify as the Sein Na Pan. Trays of candles in vibrant colors are attached each other with the hooks. As soon as the balloon inflates from the torches the people in the group find the colored tabs in order to fasten the balloon and dangle the candles from them. They have to operate it as fast as they can because when the balloon inflates and grows larger and higher, those tabs ascent taller at the same time and become out of reach. In the meanwhile, the other group works on the opposite side of the display area. They attach the slim slices of bamboo together in a grid pattern so as to hang colorful plastic loops which are the same color with the candles that affix the above. When the balloon is fully inflated, the team member rotates the balloon to show the design to the crowd and judges. Now you can enjoy the full effect of the candles on the balloon. Most of them design the Buddha script but sometimes there will be other pictures like Shan ethnic. Then they remove the torches beneath the balloon and replace it with fuel and tie together with rebar. It is a solid fuel and keeps the flame to leave the balloon from the ground. If the balloon leaves the ground successfully, the team will cheer and dance with the traditional music.

Nya Mee Gyi Fire Balloon

hot air balloon festival
The fire balloon which is painted with Buddha and attached with thousands of fireworks

Nya Mee Gyi is what people more interested in the hot air balloon festival. You will not see any any candles on these balloons. However, there will be the payload which brings nearly 5000 hand-made fireworks. As soon as the balloon is inflated, these fireworks will be attached to the balloon to explode while flying the balloon is. Once the balloon lift enough, it will leave from the ground. It’s the time to stay and run away from the balloon because the fireworks under the balloon will explode after 5 to 10 seconds of releasing to the sky. The firework will spread out all over the hot air balloon festival ground.

Issues During the Hot Air Balloon Festival

Launching balloons with thousands of candles and fireworks will not be according to the plan sometimes. Many years ago, there were the bad occurrence because of the fire balloon. The balloon fell upon one of the audiences directly. At this time, the firework explode and this audience passed away. There were many deaths on the hot air balloon festival ground. Almost four years ago, one drunk man fell asleep on the ground. At this time, the fire balloon fell down on the food stalls and burnt them. So the fire station crews and fire-engines came to help them. Unfortunately, one of the fire-engines went past upon that drunk man.

Awayyar Fire Balloon Field

If you want to enjoy this festival, you have to book the hotels in advance. During the festival, there will be fully loaded with a lot of visitors. In addition if you want to eat the traditional breakfast in the local market, you should wake up early. It would be the best if you go to the festival ground by foot because you will get stuck in the traffic jam. To be honest, Awayyar fire balloon field which holds the hot air balloon festival is quite far from the city center and hotels. So It will definitely be difficult to go there by foot. The better option will be the motorcycle however, you will be in a queue for many hours even you are with motorcycle. Furthermore, there are many counters where you can keep your vehicles. The traffic problem around the festival ground is worse than ever year after year.

Have you ever experienced the balloon which is large enough as a five-storeyed building in reality? We have ever seen these kinds of balloons and already ran away from them because the fireworks were spreading around us. How about you? Have you already run and hide like us? Let us know your experience by leaving the comment. I would be proud if you share this post to your friend or social media. Please leave the ratings for us if this is useful for you.

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