Taunggyi fire Balloon FestivalTunggyi Fire Balloon Festival
Taunggyi Fire Balloon Festival
In Taunggyi, the Shan state capitol, the yearly Fire Balloon Festival is a very special occasion that attracts local crowds of local residents and a lot of overseas-travelers. It is not a oversleep, contemplative musical festival, but rather an internationally renowned festival of ten thousand persons who enjoy a carnivalesque ambience.
It' not for the lighthearted like an accident can occur and not for the audience, but if you want to see a real festival in Burmese fashion, this is a good start. The Taunggyi Fire Balloon Festival took place this year (2013) from 11 to 17 November, with daytime balloon shows, balloon rides and pyrotechnical demonstrations in the evenings.
Last eighteenth century (17) collapsed with the full lunar period and saw a new balloon sent up into the sky about every 45 min after the inauguration. As with many other southeast Asian celebrations, there are few opportunities for mass surveillance - well, there are almost none, and you should be careful not to get into a stomped situation, drop a balloon on you, or get burned by explosive, pyrotechnic or candlelight.
Only the last night we were visiting and while we saw no injury, there were a bunch of very drunken crowds around us and, well, fire almost everywhere - use your brains when it comes to getting into risky situations. I' ll take care of the fire screen. Each balloon is individually prepped.
Cradles, cracks everywhere. The grilles are then bound together while they are kept in height above the quantity. Herds line and hew back and push each other to get a foothold through the balloon itself. When you have been in a mospit it is quite similar, except that a mospit is mounted with a balloon in the middle.
As soon as the grid is ready, the balloon is discharged and inflated. Then a large "flame rod" is fixed to the balloon and the warmth can gradually blow up the balloon. Lights keep reappearing. A crowd of people lit small little gelbe Kerzenzen, which are put into the single candlesticks and throw a nice candle.
At the same time, perhaps half a half twentieth of the ladies gather around the balloon bottom, carrying round plates of shiny round flowers covered with hundred of already illuminated lights, again with different hues of transparent coating. If the balloon begins to fill correctly, there is a frenzied hurry to take these candlesticks and fasten them to the hundred hangers on the candlestick.
When the balloon is inflated, the hurry to attach all plugs to the sides also increases. This balloon isn't seriously tied up (it's just a dude grabbing a rope), so there's really only one way to put up all the candlesticks. Under the fire grate, we' re underway.
Balloon full, full mouth. Directly at the dive centre, a small crew tries to keep the balloon in place until all our system really work, and then, before you know it, the balloon is up and pulling the grid underneath. Air-balloon support, cleared for takeoff. Just once on top the pattern is proven behind the bars - and after we had done a three-day Kalaw-Trek to Inle the same mornings, it seemed completely appropriate that the second balloon we saw was for Tiger Balm.
A balloon is floating in the dark skies, taking with it the desires and thoughts of the multitude that lighted the candle and sent it on its way. As we asked what would happen to the balloon if it burnt out, we got the most precise answer:
Tigers Balm - like I could have done it with you last night! In Taunggyi itself it is better to stay in Nyaung Shwe, about 1.5 hrs by car, if you do not plan to visit the festival for several nights. As the balloon launch site can become very slippery, it is advisable to wear good shoes.