Hot Air Balloons in Taunggyi

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Taunggyi is the capital of the Shan state in Myanmar. Most visitors come to the Shan State to visit the Inle Lake with floating markets and gardens. Besides, the Tazaungdaing Festival is held here, 6 days before the full moon of Tazaungmone (November)

The Tazaungdaing festival contains of three parts. But the most spectacular part of the festival is the hot air balloon contests, held in commemoration of offering lights to the “Sula Mani Pagoda” that is build in Tavatisma (the heaven of the 33 gods). The Buddha birth stories (Jatakas) tell that prince Theidatta made a great renunciation, afterwards shedding His hair and flung them into the sky. The king of the 33 gods (Tagyarmin) took those hairs and enshrined those into the “Sula Mani Pagoda”. To honour this pagoda, the hot air balloons take off into the sky each year.

The balloons rise during the day and the night. Day balloons are normally in the form of pagodas and animals such as elephants, ducks or dragons. The night balloons are have less spectacular forms, but they are exuberantly decorated with small coloured paper lanterns that are hung at the sides of the balloons in the form of religious figures, floral designs and the name of the group.

Taking part in the festival, you can also hear drums that will bring you in delirium. All streets are full of gambling stalls, so you can buy food and drinks everywhere. Drinking is one of the most interesting side activities of the Myanmar men during the festival.  The balloons are blown up on the air and return after that. Usually, the mass of people makes some tiny little space to let the group enter the square. The balloons and its candles are transported on a little truck and the group accompanying it walks behind it while slamming on their drums.

Hot air balloons festival is really an exciting festival in Myanmar. If you have a chance to visit Myanmar in November, let’s try this festival. We ensure that this is a highlight for your trip.

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