Live Phuket The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Dicing with death at Myanmar's fire balloon festival

MYANMAR: The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia.

culture, tourism,


AFP

Thursday 17 November 2016, 11:22AM


Explosive-laden balloons regularly crash to the ground during the Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival in Myanmar, causing panic below, but visitors say the sight is worth the risk. Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP
Explosive-laden balloons regularly crash to the ground during the Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival in Myanmar, causing panic below, but visitors say the sight is worth the risk. Photo: Ye Aung Thu/AFP

Brightly coloured balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames were sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds.

The explosive-laden balloons regularly crash to the ground, causing panic below, but visitors say the sight is worth the risks.

“I’m very happy and also afraid,” 22-year-old Maung Maung Myint, who travelled to the capital of Shan state from Mandalay, said last Friday night.

“It’s scary when the fireworks fly right at me,” he added.

The November celebration has become a highlight of the annual Tazaungdaing festival of light that marks the end of Myanmar’s rainy season.

While the tradition is rooted in Buddhism, the hot air balloon contest itself was started by British colonialists in the late 19th century.

Visitors from around the world flock to see the extraordinary explosions of light and colour, which police predicted would draw up to 50,000 visitors a day this year.

“I’ve never seen so many people. It’s absolutely crazy, but everyone is having a good time,” said Mark Boyd, 41, from Britain’s Isle of Man.

“It wouldn’t be allowed in my country. They were dangerous but it was great.”

Laguna Phuket Marathon 2017

The huge crowds, lack of safety precautions and homemade fireworks have proved deadly in the past.

In 2014, three people were killed when a balloon crashed onto spectators below. A young child also died when a balloon was blown into the family’s tent.

And it is not only balloons that set pulses racing. Visitors can also witness more death-defying feats on a human-powered ferris wheel at the festival’s fairground.

Workers scamper across the 50-foot high rickety structure like spider monkeys, using their body weight to send it spinning around at extraordinary speed.

Some dangle from the bars as the ride hurtles toward the ground, while others swing between the bars upside down as the wheel turns.

But for the balloon makers, who see months of painstaking work disappear in minutes, the competition is serious business as they battle to create the most brilliant spectacle of light.

“Before last year I had won every time. Even so I have never got less than third,” said Thaw Thar Win, who led a group of balloon makers.

“It’s not difficult because I am working with a team.”

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
CAPTCHA
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Phuket Opinion: Anti-corruption claims adding insult to injury

Very good article reflecting the way it goes on the island, the governor is average 6 months in charge and at once replaced,strange isn't it? Or h...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Anti-corruption claims adding insult to injury

Who will have the balls to speak out to perhaps a corrupt civil servant who will grass you for favors? Only a full investigation by special team from...(Read More)


Phuket sea gypsies stave off court-approved demolitions

Kurt- as the law applies to other Asians, I think xenophobia is the correct term for it, not racism. One can argue it is to protect land prices from g...(Read More)


French tourist in ICU in Bangkok following deadly Krabi crash

the ivestigation to this accident will take at least 1 to 2 week till trial, so I read in PN.the trial for the jetski accident will be in june. what m...(Read More)


Bangkok police sacked over sales of seized drugs

How about jail time & hefty fines, for selling Drugs, rather than just lose their jobs, Their sentence should be even harsher than a person off t...(Read More)


Bangkok police sacked over sales of seized drugs

This has been going on for years in the provinces but why are they only sacked? Why aren't they charged with drug trafficking and locked up in ...(Read More)


Sleeping Phuket taxi driver legal, official confirms

This is not a surprise. It's common knowledge that taxi drivers share cars, often leasing them in groups from the guy who actually owns them, who ...(Read More)


AoT ready to spend B220bn on airports

Maybe spend money on Phuket airport computers for immigration staff??...(Read More)


Officials move to reclaim 42 rai of Phuket mangroves

.... The area is the first of hundreds of thousands to rehabilitate....! What does that mean? Anyone to explain this? Can't be corruption, righ...(Read More)


French tourist in ICU in Bangkok following deadly Krabi crash

@Kurt I had the same thought like you but i think there is a big difference between the russian woman and this truckdriver. he was not set up by a to...(Read More)

The Phuket News
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.