Myanmar Resumed Hot Air Balloon Festival After Two-Year Hiatus
PYIN OO LWIN, Myanmar, Nov 8 (NNN-MNA) – Myanmar held a five-day hot air balloon festival, in Pyin Oo Lwin, starting from Friday after a two-year pause due to COVID-19.
About 76 hot air balloons in three main categories were competing in this year’s event, which runs until today, in the central city of Pyin Oo Lwin, to celebrate the traditional Tazaungdaing lighting festival.
Myanmar’s Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival 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 monks are offered new robes and alms.
“This year, we had only 40 days to prepare for the competition,” Kyaw Htay Ko, secretary of the Pyin Oo Lwin Tazaungdaing Hot Air Balloon Competition Organising Committee, said.
In the past years, the organisers and the hot air balloon builders, prepared for the annual event about six months in advance, according to the organising committee.
“However, the number of balloons competing in this year’s event is not much less than in previous years’ competitions,” Kyaw Htay Ko said.
The annual hot air balloon festival, which began in 2005, was organised to boost the tourism sector, assist the region’s development and promote the region’s economy, he added.
In many parts of Myanmar, hot air balloons, lit with candles, are released to celebrate the Tazaungdaing lighting festival, to drive away evil spirits, according to religious belief.
This year’s five-day festival features daytime and nighttime balloon launches, traditional dances, musical performances, and sports competitions.