The path of human aviation is uneven and dangerous. But, from the ancient story of an English king killed in his attempt to fly with handmade wings to the launchings of rockets to the International Space Station, the desire for flight continues.
Some people think of the American brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright as the first pilots of the sky. In 1903, the two men made four brief flights in a powered plane in North Carolina.
But more than 100 years earlier, two Frenchmen were actually the first to float through the sky.
On November 21, 1783, Jean François Pilâtre de Rozier and Marquis d'Arlandes got into a small open airboat. Above their heads, long ropes attached the craft to a huge hot air balloon. The balloon rose slowly, carrying its pilots over a public park in Paris.
In 1785, two other pilots flew a similar airship across the English Channel.
1783年11月21日，让·弗朗索瓦·皮拉特·德·罗齐耶和侯爵·阿兰德斯侯爵乘坐小型敞开汽艇。 在他们的头顶上方，长长的绳索将飞艇固定在一个巨大的热气球上。 气球缓缓升起，将飞行员载着去往巴黎的一个公园。
Although it never became a main form of transportation, balloon flight has stuck.
Today, hot air balloon fans celebrate the aircraft in festivals around the world. Hundreds of thousands recently attended the largest such event, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The León International Balloon Festival just closed in Mexico. Similar celebrations take place in Canada, France and Japan, to name a few. Today, we explore a few of these events.
今天，热气球爱好者在世界各地庆祝这个节日。 最近成千上万的人参加了在新墨西哥州阿尔伯克基举行的最大规模的此类活动： 莱昂国际热气球节。 加拿大，法国和日本也举行了类似的庆祝活动。 今天，我们探讨其中一些事件。
Saga International Balloon Festival
In Saga, Japan, more than 100 balloons from about 20 countries take part in a five-day competition and celebration. Competitors are tested on flight control and other skills.
Balloons rise into the air from along the Kase River each day. Others are launched elsewhere, and can be seen in the air over homes and other buildings.
However, one of the most beautiful sights at the Saga International Balloon Festival happens after dark, during La Montgolfier Nocturne. Known as the Night Mooring in English, the event involves balloons lining up on the riverside. The balloons all light up at once from the firing of their burners. The result is an extensive, extraordinary glow, which is reflected in the river.
The balloon fiesta in Saga takes place yearly in early November.
然而，萨加国际热气球节最美丽的景点之一是在天黑后的La Montgolfier Nocturne。 该活动在英语中被称为“夜间系泊”，其中的气球在河边排成一行。 气球在燃烧器点燃后立即全部点亮。 结果是灿烂光芒，映照在河中。
The León International Balloon Festival
Next we travel to the central Mexican city of León. The yearly balloon celebration there is known as FIG, for Festival Internacional del Globo. The 2019 event took place from November 15-18.
The FIG is the biggest balloon festival in Latin America. About 200 hot air balloons and pilots from 15 different countries are involved. Hundreds of thousands of visitors attend.
接下来，我们前往墨西哥中部城市莱昂。 在那里，每年的国际气球节被称为FIG。 2019年的活动于11月15日至18日举行。
它是拉丁美洲最大的气球节。 涉及来自15个不同国家的约200个热气球和飞行员。 成千上万的游客参加。
The first FIG took place in 2002 with just 25 balloons. Its website says that year, the event "began the magic and the first experience of seeing this dream fly by painting the sky of León..."
At the 2014 FIG, American aviator Jonathan Trappe made history and paid respects to the beloved American film Up. The pilot attached dozens of balloons to an airboat that looked much like the house in the 2009 film. Then, just like the character Carl in the movie, Trappe floated the house up into the air. He traveled over Mexico that way for several days.
在2014年FIG上，美国飞行员乔纳森·特拉佩创造了历史，并向深受喜爱的美国电影《 Up》致敬。 飞行员将数十个气球固定在一艘看起来像2009年电影中房屋的汽船上。 然后，就像电影中的角色卡尔一样，特拉普把房子漂浮在空中。 他以这种方式在墨西哥旅行了几天。
Like at other festivals, the balloons come in different colors and shapes. Visitors might look up and see the Disney character Mickey Mouse. Or they might see a yellow smiley face, a giant heart, a space creature or a clown and zebra flying side by side.
像其他节日一样，气球有不同的颜色和形状。 参观者可能会抬头看到迪士尼角色米奇老鼠。 或者他们可能会看到黄色的笑脸，巨大的心脏，太空生物或小丑和斑马并排飞行。
Biggest in the World
The biggest hot air balloon festival in the world takes place in the American city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is called the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
Organizers of the event say more than 850,000 people attended the nine-day event this year. There were almost 600 balloons and 671 pilots from around the world.
The fiesta also appeals to photographers, both professional and amateur. It has long included a competition for best pictures of the celebration. That contest is named in honor of Cindy Petrehn, the official photographer of the Albuquerque festival until her death in 2013. Petrehn was also a balloon pilot herself. She captured images from and of hot air balloons all over the world.
节日也吸引了众多专业和业余摄影师。 长期以来，大家也一直在争夺庆祝活动最佳照片。 该比赛以纪念辛迪·彼得雷恩命名，辛迪·彼得雷恩是阿尔伯克基音乐节的官方摄影师，直到她于2013年去世。彼得雷恩本人也是一名气球飞行员， 她从世界各地的热气球中捕捉图像。
Balloon pilot Gary Michalek has been flying hot air balloons for 32 years and has been coming to the festival in Albuquerque for 20 years.
"Flying above the surface of the earth, like really close to the ground or high up, I mean, it's unique. You have few types of aviation where you can just float above the ground...."
Fiesta operations director Sam Parks is proud of his work. "One of the things that I heard yesterday, which really touched my heart, was a young boy telling his mother, ‘This is the best day ever!'
That, he added, "makes you feel like you're doing a good thing."
Words in This Story：
aviation - n. the business or practice of flying airplanes, helicopters, etc.
festival - n. a special time or event when people gather to celebrate something
reflect - v. to show the image of (something) on a surface
dozen - n. a group of 12 people or things
amateur - n. a person who does something (such as a sport or hobby) for pleasure and not as a job
unique - adj. used to say that something or someone is unlike anything or anyone else
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