In Pictures: Myanmar festival rises high

The Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival sees hundreds of lanterns and hot air balloons take to the skies of Shan state.


Taunggyi, Myanmar - One of this country's most famous festivals is celebrated each year here, the capital of Shan state.

The Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival pays homage at the Sulamuni Buddhist Pagoda, with hot air balloons made from bamboo and mulberry paper (Shan paper) - made locally in a variety of shapes and sizes.

The balloons, between 15 and 20 feet tall, are decorated with paper lanterns, fireworks and flares which detonate in mid-air.

Members of each balloon team perform traditional dances as their balloon begins to ascend.

Each year, more than 200 lanterns take to the skies in the festival, making this event Myanmar's largest hot air balloon festival.