Myanmar resumes hot air balloon festival in central region after 2-year hiatus

People release a hot air balloon carrying small lanterns in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar, November 6, 2022. Myanmar held a five-day hot air balloon festival in Pyin Oo Lwin from Friday after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. About 76 hot air balloons in three main categories participated in this year’s event, which runs until Tuesday in the central town of Pyin Oo Lwin, to celebrate the traditional Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights on Monday. (Photo: Xinhua)


People release hot air balloons in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar, November 6, 2022. Myanmar held a five-day hot air balloon festival in Pyin Oo Lwin from Friday after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 19.  About 76 hot air balloons in three main categories participated in this year's event, which runs until Tuesday in the central town of Pyin Oo Lwin, to celebrate the traditional Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights on Monday.  (Photo: Xinhua)

People release hot air balloons in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar, November 6, 2022. Myanmar held a five-day hot air balloon festival in Pyin Oo Lwin from Friday after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 19. About 76 hot air balloons in three main categories participated in this year’s event, which runs until Tuesday in the central town of Pyin Oo Lwin, to celebrate the traditional Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights on Monday. (Photo: Xinhua)

People release small hot air balloons during the Tazaungdaing festival in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar, November 6, 2022. Myanmar held a five-day hot air balloon festival in Pyin Oo Lwin from Friday after a two-year break due to the COVID -19 pandemic.  About 76 hot air balloons in three main categories participated in this year's event, which runs until Tuesday in the central town of Pyin Oo Lwin, to celebrate the traditional Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights on Monday.  (Photo: Xinhua)

People release small hot air balloons during the Tazaungdaing festival in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar, November 6, 2022. Myanmar held a five-day hot air balloon festival in Pyin Oo Lwin from Friday after a two-year break due to the COVID -19 pandemic. About 76 hot air balloons in three main categories participated in this year’s event, which runs until Tuesday in the central town of Pyin Oo Lwin, to celebrate the traditional Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights on Monday. (Photo: Xinhua)

People attach small lanterns to a hot air balloon during the Tazaungdaing festival in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar, November 6, 2022. Myanmar held a five-day hot air balloon festival in Pyin Oo Lwin from Friday after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  (Photo: Xinhua)

People attach small lanterns to a hot air balloon during the Tazaungdaing festival in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar, November 6, 2022. Myanmar held a five-day hot air balloon festival in Pyin Oo Lwin from Friday after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Xinhua)

Myanmar held a five-day hot air balloon festival in Pyin Oo Lwin from Friday after a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 76 hot air balloons in three main categories were competing in this year’s event, which runs until Tuesday in the central town of Pyin Oo Lwin, to celebrate the traditional Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights on Monday.

The Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival in Myanmar is held on the full moon day of Tazaungmon, the eighth month of the Myanmar calendar, to mark the end of the rainy season as well as the end of the Kathina season, during which the monks are offered new robes and alms.

“This year, we only had about 40 days to prepare for the hot air balloon competition,” Kyaw Htay Ko, secretary of the Pyin Oo Lwin Tazaungdaing hot air balloon competition organizing committee, told Xinhua.

In recent years, organizers and hot air balloon builders have prepared for the annual event about six months in advance, according to the organizing committee.

“However, the number of balls competing in this year’s event is not much less than previous years’ competitions,” Kyaw Htay Ko said.

The annual hot air balloon festival, which started in 2005, was organized to boost the tourism sector, help the region’s development and promote the region’s economy, he added.

In many parts of Myanmar, hot air balloons, lit by candlelight, are released to celebrate the Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival to drive away evil spirits according to religious beliefs.

This year’s five-day festival features day and night balloon launches, traditional dances, musical performances and sports competitions.