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  • Tazaungdaing Festival 2013 - Myanmar

    This is the main reason why I went to Myanmar - to experience the very huge but seldom photographed Tazaungdaing Festival.

    A word of warning for those who might want to go see this event. It is not a very safe place/event to be at. On top of the inherent dangers of the home made balloons where some crash and burn (and explode) without notice, there are many drunk people and fights do break out. Some criminals also take advantage of the messy situation to steal/rob. There are so many people it is often hard to walk on the pathways, and some of us got pushed back in the reverse direction as people kept pushing in. So be on your guard at all times and take care of the group you travel with.

    The Tazaungdaing festival (aka the Festival of Lights and spelt Tazaungdine Festival), held on the full moon day of Tazaungmon, the eighth month in the traditional Burmese calendar, is celebrated as a national holiday in Burma (Myanmar) and marks the end of the rainy season. It also marks the end of the Kathina (Kahtein in Burmese) season, during which monks are offered new robes and alms.

    In Shan State, hot air balloons lit with candles, are released to celebrate the full moon day, similar to Yi Peng celebrations in Northern Thailand. The balloons are released as an offering to the Sulamani cetiya in Tavitisma, a heaven in Buddhist cosmology and home of the devas, or as a way to drive away evil spirits. There are 3 types of balloons. The first type is released in daytime. The balloons are in the shapes of animals such as birds, pig, cow, elephant, duck, etc. The second type Seinnaban is released in the night. The meaning is the prickly lantana because a lot of lanterns are hanging in the Hot Air balloons. The last is called Nya Mie Gyi. The meaning is the big great light of the night. The balloons are also released in the night. The fireworks are attached with the balloons. When the balloons reach around 50 feet, the fireworks start displaying its beautiful and amazing works.

    All the balloons are made of papers which are made by the local people with the traditional method. The balloons are prepared from 3 weeks to 3 months in advance depending on the size and complexity.

    1. Festival grounds in the day (after an hour-long walk through thick crowds)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Tazaungdaing Festival 2013 - Myanmar 2013 started by daredevil123 View original post