Friday, November 30, 2007

International tourists participate at Taunggyi Hotair Balloon Festival

The November fullmoon is an important date in Myanmar tourist calendar, especially for those wishing to visit Taunggyi, Lake Inle and its environs.

During this period there are many colourful and enchanting festivals at Taunggyi. One of the most famous is the Hotair Balloon Competition where hotair balloons of various sizes, shapes and figures are sent up into the sky both in competition and sheer joy. The competition is divided into two parts: a daytime competition and night-time competition.

Balloons sent up during the daytime are small but nevertheless they are diverse. There are cows, elephants, birds and even rhinoceroses sailing up into the sky. They may be alone or in pairs or even in groups of 4 or 5 balloons. The balloons that are sent up at night are huge, some measuring more than 30 feet in diameter and 60-70 feet high. They are hung with many small glass-paper lanterns on the outside and teams must race to finish lighting them up in stipulated period. As they fly up pyrotechnics displays are released against the dark background. Marks are given for the creativity, flight patterns, outside decorations, the ability to complete all tasks in stipulated time etc. But whatever the results everyone has a goodtime, including many tourists.
I am pleased to direct
this blog to know more about Taunggyi Tazaung Daing.
This year, they did do webcast successfully and we have to know about competed hot air ballon of 301 and it is 64 more than last year.

Parade Of Lights Lit Up Taunggyi

On the evening of the November Fullmoon evening the whole of Taunggyi is lit up. Teams from all the residential wards of Taunggyi line up along the main road with decorated floats with scenes from the Jataka (the Holy Life of Lord Buddha) or with small lanterns in their hands. The snaked their way through the town to the Sulamuni Lawka Chantha Pagoda at the other end of the town to pay homage to the Buddha on this auspicious day. This is a tradition that has been observed in Taunggyi throughout the years.

Kahtein or the Offering of Holy Robes to the Monks.

After 3 months of monsoon the robes of the monks had become soiled and Lord Buddha had permitted the laity to offer new holy robes to them. This tradition has been carried on throughout the whole Buddhist world including Myanmar. But the ceremony of offering holy robes to the monks takes on a special significance in Taunggyi. On the eve of the Fullmoon day of November all the residential quarters of Taunggyi gather along the main road with their offerings to congregate at the main Ordination Hall in the centre of the town. The offerings include not only holy robes but also other necessary items for the monks like blankets, towels and medicines etc. These are hung on decorated frames and carried on the shoulders of the participants. The whole procession proceeds towards the main Ordination Hall accompanied by native music troupes with much dancing and chanting of the Holy Scriptures. All the offerings are deposited in front of the Hall where lots are drawn between the many monasteries around the town to divide the offerings.

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