Taungyyi Hot Air Balloon Festival
It is held in commemoration of offering lights to the "Sula Mani Pagoda", built in Tavatimsa (realm of the celestial beings). Jatakas (the Buddha's birth stories) relate that when Prince Theidatta made a great renunciation to become the Buddha, He shed His Hairs and flung them into the sky, there and then the Tagyarmin (King of the celestial beings) took them to enshrine in the Sula Mani Pagoda. To honour this Sula Mani Pagoda, huge fire balloons are floated high above throughout the country.
It is held in Taunggyi, a capital of the southern Shan State. It is said to have been the origin of Pa-o minority. It is celebrated annually on a grand scale for 6 days before the full moon day of Tazaungmone (Noverber). These balloons are released day and night, competing over their beauty, lasting hours and the attitude they can gain. During the festival period one can find food stalls, fan-fair, shops selling local products, theatrical shows, magic shoes, and so on. People from any part of the country love to come and celebrate the occasion.
The exact dates of festival vary from year to year according to the Myanmar lunar calendar. While you are in Inle Lake, you can make one night stop in Taunggyi to watch the celebrations and please contact to our office to integrate into your tour program.