Every year in November as the full moon approaches, tens of thousands of people from all over Myanmar gather in Taunggyi for the colourful festival of hot-air balloons. During the festival, balloons of all shapes and sizes are flown in the day, while at night they lift fireworks or lanterns which illuminate the sky.
The exciting festival attracts great numbers of people, who watch, celebrate and photograph the interesting balloons (such as one pictured here with General Aung San’s face on it). The festival is not immune to pyrotechnic accidents, such as fireworks going off too soon and forcing people to run in every direction (pictured in image 10). This year the hot-air balloons festival took place in Myanmar’s northeastern Shan state on the days of November 24, 25, and 26, 2012. – Photos by AFP