Tazaungdaing peacock balloon in Taunggyi. Image courtesy of Myanmar Ministry of Hotels & Tourism
The full moon day of the eighth month of the Burmese lunar calendar is held in special esteem by the Myanma. It marks the end of the Kahtein season, the three-month rainy-season retreat of Buddhist monks, who celebrate the occasion by receiving new robes from devotees in their community. The Festival of Lights is also held at this time, where residents of Taunggyi in Shan State celebrate the event by launching great gaudily-painted balloons into the air.
The hot-air balloons are made with bamboo frames and mulberry-paper sheaths. In Taunggyi, the balloons come in the form of gigantic paper animals; flying oxen, fish, and elephants glide across both daytime and nighttime skies, the latter enlivened with festive fireworks.
The fireworks and balloons hearken back to Buddhist folklore: as Tazaungdaing is closely linked to the Buddha's visit to his sainted mother in a higher plane, the fireworks and the balloons are intended to guide the Buddha back to Earth. On a less serious note, young Myanma traditionally wait till Tazaungdaing to play pranks on their neighbors!
As Tazaungdaing follows the traditional Myanmar lunar calendar, the holiday falls on November 3 in 2017.
Parrot-shaped balloon in Taunggyi. Image courtesy of Myanmar Ministry of Hotels & Tourism
For similar festivals that train a spotlight on the local culture, visit Indonesia's Bali Art Festival; Malaysia's Unesco World Heritage City Celebrations; the Philippines' Bamboo Festival; Thailand's Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival; and Vietnam's Hoi An Festival.
For an alternative November festival stop, visit Thailand's Loi Krathong Festival and Cambodia's Water Festival.
A two-century-old bamboo organ serves as the centerpiece of the International Bamboo
Golf tour through Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Hua Hin and Bangkok in Thailand, combining highlights from both country's ...VIEW DETAILS
Tour of Laos and Viet Nam that will strengthen your body and nourish your spirit. For a life-altering change in perspective, ...VIEW DETAILS
Yangon in Myanmar, Ho Chi Minh City in Viet Nam; Siem Reap in Cambodia; and Luang Prabang in Laos.VIEW DETAILS
Traditional Balinese Feast in a Private Villa. Indulge in a roasted suckling pig or fresh seafood barbeque prepared on the gr...VIEW DETAILS
Resorts World Sentosa Singapore F&B TreatsVIEW DETAILS
PADI Underwater Digital Photography Class - A two-part introduction course to digital underwater photography centred around t...VIEW DETAILS
Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...VIEW DETAILS
Rent a car for 2 days or more at participating locations in Asia and enjoy up to 15% offVIEW DETAILS
Star Points Hotel, a brand name that uniquely a VALUABLE choice for its discerning travelers. Located 10 minutes from KLCC an...VIEW DETAILS
Hotel Royal is strategically located right in the heart of Singapore's most exclusive district and is only minutes away f...VIEW DETAILS
Explore exotic Kuching with our amazing Asean@50 offer! Stay in the city centre within the business and shopping district wit...VIEW DETAILS