Annual festival combines thousands of balloons and fireworks in vibrant display

This kaleidoscopic festival brings together thousands of balloons and fireworks in an explosion of colour and light.

Taking place in Taunggyi, Myanmar, the annual festival sees the likes of hot air balloons covered in candles rise high into the nights sky while those on the ground watch on in wonder. 

PIC FROM MARTIEN JANSSEN / CATERS

Other balloons even take the spectacle one step further, launching fireworks from their exteriors as they continue to rise.

The beautiful footage of the Tauggyi Balloon Festival was shot by Dutch videographer Martien Janssen, who travelled to the event this November.

The festival, running from November 16 until November 22, is usually attended by close to 20,000 people per year and runs near the end of Buddhist Lent.

PIC FROM MARTIEN JANSSEN / CATERS

Teams come from all over the country to launch their giant balloons and hand-made fireworks, while visitors set loose thousands of balloons of their own.

Martien, 39, said: “The quality of the fireworks is spectacular – if they work as they are supposed to. 

“Made by amateurs, these are some professional-looking fireworks, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. 

PIC FROM MARTIEN JANSSEN / CATERS

“Particularly fascinating was the extreme danger of the lift-off right in the middle of the crowd and the lack of fear of everyone, despite yearly injuries and casualties.

“The locals are amazingly and genuinely friendly, so happy to see you and celebrate with you. 

“Also they love to see you join in with the preparing of the balloons, lighting the candles and inviting you to hang them on the balloons. 

“It’s a great vibe. Having been in the country for a while, this confirmed the Burmese people are among the kindest you’ll ever meet. 

PIC FROM MARTIEN JANSSEN / CATERS

“It reflects often in their service as well, either at a restaurant or whatever, they really do their best to service you as good as possible and they go the ‘extra mile’ for it. 

“Having traveled to a lot of countries and visited many festivals, there is no such place as Myanmar and the event is a one of a kind, complemented by their personality.”