Up, up, and away for Hot Air Balloon Day  

Up, up, and away for Hot Air Balloon Day

Really, there’s only one way to celebrate Hot Air Balloon Day properly. But if you can’t catch a ride in a basket under a giant balloon today, know that the idea dates back at least to 3rd-century China, where paper lanterns were used as military signals. Fast forward to 18th-century France, where two paper-making brothers, the Montgolfiers, launched unmanned hot air balloons. Then, to great fanfare, they tried sending up a sheep, duck, and chicken, and finally, Étienne Montgolfier took a ride. Designs have improved since then, resulting in the standard hot air balloon seen here.

© Taliesin Black-Brown and Ben Cowan/Nimia

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