The Festival Iinternational del Globo, is a hot air ballooning event based in the city of León, México.
It is currently ranked among the 3 best events of its kind, worldwide.
Featuring over 200 hot air balloons from 23 countries including the United States, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, Japan, etc. In 15 years, the FIG has gathered over1,800 balloons and 3.5 million visitors from all over the country and abroad, making it the main tourism product in the Bajio region. In 2016, FIG welcomed 550,000 visitors.
Unique in Mexico and Latin America, the FIG is not only a great attraction for the State of Guanajuato, but it has also positioned León as one of the most important ballooning destinations in the world, having outstanding weather conditions, bringing together, year after year, the best pilots of the sport, looking to enjoy an unforgettable experience.
The Festival Internacional del Globo is a meeting point and a space of equality designed for the whole family. Besides witnessing an unparalleled spectacle, they can also enjoy hundreds of hours of side shows, including world-class concerts, exhibitions, cultural activities and sports, shopping and a wide selection of local and international cuisine.
Origins of ballooning
Father Bartolomeu Lourenço de Gusmão, born in the town of Santos, Brazil, in 1685, discovered that hot air becomes lighter as a soap bubble rose as it passed over a lit candle. Not much later and after several experiments, on the 8th of August, 1709, he made a private exhibition to King Juan V of Portugal and several members of his Court, in which he managed to raise a paper balloon up to 4 meters, impressing the audience, who would later baptize him as "The Flying Priest".
First hot air balloon flights
French brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier, children of a papermaker, played with inverted bags over fire, watching them rise to the ceiling. During several years and captivated by the interest in this peculiar phenomenon, they were experimenting with different materials and dimensions, until finally on the 4th of June, 1783, they held a public exhibition in which they successfully rose a balloon made of paper and linen, with a diameter of 11 meters, a weight of about 226 kilograms full of hot air. This primitive aircraft traveled 2 km in 10 minutes and reached an estimated altitude between 1600 and 2000 meters.
Later, with the purpose of obtaining a permit to make the first manned flight, on the 15th of October of the same year, in presence of King Louis XVI of France, in Versailles, the Montgolfier brothers would launch the first hot air balloon carrying passengers: a rooster, a duck and a sheep.
It was finally on November 21, 1783, when Pilate de Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandes made the first manned ascension of history, flying for over 25 minutes at a height of about 100 meters above Paris, achieving a distance of nine kilometers.
Hot air ballooning in México
Born in Guanajuato in 1819, Don Benito Leon Acosta and Rubí de Celis, a mining engineer, was the first Mexican to venture into aeronautics when he took-off aboard a hot air balloon of his own fabrication from the San Pablo bullring in Mexico City, on April 3 Of 1842, waving for the first time the Flag of Mexico in the sky. Two days later, Don Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, President of México in that time, granted him a permit of 3 years of exclusivity, so that only he could fly the Mexican skies.
On October 29, 1842, the new Mexican aeronaut arrived to León to make his fourth ascension, which was announced more than 15 days in advance so that the people of the region could attend to witness the show. Taking-off from the main square, and after an hour journey, Leon Acosta descended on the hacienda of Santa Rosa, greeted by a multitude that took him back to León to pay him homage in the Teatro del Pueblo.