Spectators flee burning hot air balloon at Myanmar festival

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The Tazaungdaing Festival is also known as Festival of Lights and is an annual celebration of Buddhist origins that happens at the end of rainy season.

The tradition of hot air balloon competition dates back to the times of British colonialism at the end of 19th century, according to the Myanmar Times.

During the festival the hot air balloons built by local teams are filled with fireworks and then sent up in the air.

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This picture taken on November 12, 2016 shows people protecting themselves from fireworks, being carried by a hot air balloon, that ignited before the balloon was at a sufficient height during the Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival at Taunggyi in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State. The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia. Brightly colored balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames are sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

Firefighters work after a fireworks-laden hot-air balloon ignited near a car before the balloon had reached a sufficient height during the closing ceremony of the Tazaungdaing Festival at Taunggyi, in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State, on November 15, 2016. The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia. Brightly colored balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames are sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

Firefighters and police work after a fireworks-laden hot-air balloon ignited before the balloon had reached a sufficient height during the closing ceremony of the Tazaungdaing Festival at Taunggyi, in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State, on November 15, 2016. The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia. Brightly colored balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames are sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

A person takes a picture of fireworks during the closing ceremony of the Tazaungdaing Festival at Taunggyi, in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State, on November 15, 2016. The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia. Brightly coloured balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames are sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

Participants release a hot-air balloon during the closing ceremony of the Tazaungdaing Festival at Taunggyi, in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State, on November 15, 2016. The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia. Brightly colored balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames are sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

This picture taken on November 12, 2016 shows fireworks being ignited while carried off by a hot air balloon during the Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival at Taunggyi in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State. The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia. Brightly colored balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames are sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

This picture taken on November 12, 2016 shows participants releasing a hot-air balloon carrying small lanterns during the Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival at Taunggyi in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State. The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia. Brightly coloured balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames are sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

This picture taken on November 12, 2016 shows fireworks being ignited while carried off by a hot air balloon during the Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival at Taunggyi in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State. The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia. Brightly colored balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames are sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds. 

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

Participants release a hot-air balloons carrying small lanterns during the closing ceremony of the Tazaungdaing Festival at Taunggyi, in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State, on November 15, 2016. The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia. Brightly colored balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames are sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

In this photo taken Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, people take a picture with their mobile phone of a hot air balloon before it is launched by contestants during a hot air balloon competition in Taunggyi, eastern state of Myanmar. Balloons made of bamboo and paper are released day and night during the annual six-day festival in Taunggyi. The festival is one of the tourist attractions of Myanmar.

(AP Photo/Thein Zaw)

Buddhist devotees arrive at Swe Taw Myat Pagoda in Yangon under a rising 'supermoon' on November 14, 2016 as Myanmar celebrates Tazaungdine festival, a mainly religious celebration coinciding with the appearance of super full moon.

(ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

This picture taken on November 11, 2016 shows participants celebrating as a balloon carrying fireworks takes off during the Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival at Taunggyi in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State. The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia. Brightly colored balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames are sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

This picture taken on November 12, 2016 shows participants preparing to release a hot-air balloon carrying small lanterns during the Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival at Taunggyi in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State. The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia. Brightly colored balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames are sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

This picture taken on November 11, 2016 shows participants releasing a hot-air balloon during the Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival at Taunggyi in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State. The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia. Brightly colored balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames are sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

This picture taken on November 12, 2016 shows firefighters at work after a fireworks-laden hot-air balloon ignited before the balloon was at a sufficient height during the Tazaungdaing Lighting Festival at Taunggyi in Myanmar's northeastern Shan State. The skies of central Myanmar were set ablaze this week with the beginning of the Taunggyi fire balloon festival, one of the most beautiful and dangerous celebrations in Asia. Brightly coloured balloons with hundreds of homemade fireworks woven into their frames are sent soaring into the night sky, showering down cascades of sparks onto adoring crowds.

(YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)

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Craig Holmes, who witnessed and filmed the incident, told Reuters he believes the festival is dangerous.

"Most of the balloons are probably 100 meters up before the fireworks go off but every now and again they don't get off the ground properly and the fireworks go off straight into the crowd gathered below. The truth is the locals seem to think it's all part of the fun - as soon as the next balloon goes up they're all gathered around right underneath it again but we decided to watch the rest from a safer distance. In both of these videos people started running when they saw the balloon wasn't taking off, a waiting fire engine rushed in to extinguish the blaze and they all carried on again like nothing had happened." said Holmes.

There have been fatal incidents in the past, including three people killed in 2014, as stated by the local media.

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