A Riot of Color and Noise at the Taunggyi Tazaungdaing Festival

 

A Sight you Won’t Forget at the Taunggyi Tazaungdaing Festival

 

The Taunggyi Tazaungdaing Festival is an experience that you won’t soon forget. The festival takes place every year around the full moon of the 8th month of the Burmese Calendar in the Shan state town of Taunggyi, Myanmar.

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This year, the festival will take place from the 3rd to the 5th of November. For anyone planning on being in the region around that time of year, you should definitely plan to stay for at least a day of the festival.

Taunggyi Tazaungtaine Festival (Hot Air Balloon Festival) 2016
Tourists enjoying the festival.

The festival’s dates are also a national holiday, so you should expect large crowds and full accommodations in the town of Taunggyi. The Festival grounds are located in the southern part of Taunggyi in the Inle Lake region. During the festival period, you can find lots of transportation easily in Nyaung Shwe such as pick-up trucks and shared
taxis. Virtually everyone will be heading to the festival.

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The Difference Between Night and Day

The festival takes place all through the 3-day festival period with colorful balloons being launched throughout the day. 20-30 animal-shaped hot-air balloons will be released daily.

Taunggyi Tazaungdaing Festival
Intricately lit balloons are a big hit with the crowd.

However, it turns into a completely different experience at night. If you or your companions are easily frightened, you might want to leave well before night falls. This is when all the fun and danger starts.

Taunggyi Tazaungdaing Festival
The balloons are powered by hot air.

Members from villages all over Myanmar get together in teams to build large, ornately decorated, colorful balloons. And, when we say balloons, think of fire balloons on steroids.

Raining Fire from the Skies

Although, all of the balloons are beautiful to see, some come with an added danger that keeps the spectators on their toes. A number of the balloons have fireworks suspended underneath them and are rigged with time fuses allowing the balloons to gain height before the fireworks are set off. At that point be prepared to run as the fireworks can rain down on the spectators.

Taunggyi Tazaungdaing Festival
Some of the balloons are hand-painted.

As long as you position yourself to keep your distance from the balloons you should be safe, but wear some shoes that you are able to run in, nonetheless.

Taunggyi Tazaungdaing Festival
The crowd celebrating.

The best times to go are on the first and second days. It gets dangerously crowded on the last day. There is also lots of food and beverage stalls set up around the festival grounds.

Taunggyi Tazaungdaing Festival
A view of the festival grounds.

The grounds are filled with music and colorful, lighted ferris wheels that are powered by energetic young men who use their body weight to spin the wheels.

International Tourists Attending the Hot Air Ballon Festival 2016 in Taunggyi, Myanmar
Tourists from all over the world come to celebrate.
 
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