Atlas Obscura: Myanmar's 'Firemasters' Strap Fireworks to Hot Air Balloons for Annual Festival
December 29, 2015
By Dene-Hern Chen
Seven men, each wielding a flaming bamboo stick, circled a giant paper balloon and worked quickly to fill it with hot air. A small band of people played clangy music and danced exuberantly as the 30-foot-high balloon slowly billowed out before it lifted off into the night sky. The men cheered, the music swelled, the crowd danced.
And then, the pitch-black sky lit up into a dazzling display of a multi-colored shower of sparks and flames.
The crowd ran for cover as sparks whizzed down onto the ground. As the balloon gained more altitude, its undercarriage began emitting a symphony of pyrotechnic prowess—red, blue, green and white explosions arched across the night sky as spectators watched on, pulling on blankets to protect their hair from wayward sparks.