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8 Spectacular Flower Festivals Around the World

Flowers can symbolize a lot of things. Calla lilies represent purity, irises are meant to inspire hope, and of course, roses are thought to symbolize love and passion. But to many, all flowers represent one thing: beauty.

As humans, we are attracted to bright and vibrant colors, and this is apparent in our love for flowers. Think about it—while trees give us shade and some plants provide us food, most flowers are of no use to us other than giving us something pretty to look at.

So it’s no surprise that there are so many flower festivals in the world, all of which boast fantastic and spectacular flower displays. Of course, Filipinos know about Baguio’s Panagbenga, but there are other events in other countries that anthophiles would definitely enjoy.

Here are just a few:

 

🌷 Bloemencorso Bollenstreek

Bloemencorso

When: Last weekend of April
Where: The Netherlands

Bloemencorso literally means “flower parade” in Dutch, and while there are many versions of this event in The Netherlands and Belgium, one of the most famous ones is Bloemencorso Bollenstreek, which goes on a 42-km route from the town of Noordwijk to the city of Haarlem. Every year, nearly one million spectators come to see the amazing floats adorned with flowers.

Tips

  • The parade usually starts Saturday at 9:30 AM in Noordwijk, but it would be better to go to Haarlem on Sunday as the floats are on display the whole day and visitors can inspect them up close.
  • There are many seats along the route, but since the festival is popular, booking in advance is advised if you want to secure one.

 

🌷 Chiang Mai Flower Festival

Chiang Mai

When: The first weekend of February
Where: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Considered as the most famous flower festival in Thailand, the Chiang Mai Flower Festival takes place at the Suan Buak Haad Public Park, where flowers including Damask Roses (which Chiang Mai is famous for) are put on display. While the festival starts on Friday, the actual parade kicks off on Saturday morning and features brightly decorated flower floats.

Tips

  • Find a restaurant or a café along the parade route that has a good vantage point so you can avoid standing the entire time.
  • Not a morning person? You can catch all the floats parked outside the Suan Buak Haad Public Park starting Saturday afternoon.

Read 10 Instagrammable Places in Bangkok
 

🌷 Festival of the Flowers

Medellin

When: Early August
Where: Medellín, Colombia

Lasting 10 days, Medellín’s Festival of the Flowers is one of the longest flower festivals in its region. While there are fairs and concerts, the main event is the Desfile de Silleteros, which involves silletas exquisite bouquets of flowers arranged on a wooden base—being paraded on the streets. More than 10,000 visitors travel to Medellín every year to see the festivities.

Tips

  • Some events, including the Desfile de Silleteros, have ticketed seats. These sell out fast so it’s best to book as early as you can.
  • There are many live music events—including a sing-off and a performance from the local orchestra—so be sure to experience those as well.

 

🌷 Floriade

Floriade

When: Early September to early October
Where: Canberra, Australia

Touted as “Australia’s biggest celebration of spring”, Floriade transforms Commonwealth Park’s flower beds into a spectacular display of color, making it the largest flower festival in the southern hemisphere. It also features NightFest, when light installations among the flower beds create a different but equally gorgeous view of the blooms.

Tips

  • Visit the Gnome Knoll, where you can paint a gnome and take part in the design competition.
  • Want a different perspective? Book a helicopter ride and see the blooms from 300 meters up.

Read 10 Cafes You Should Visit for the Best Coffee in Sydney
 

🌷 Flower Carpet

Brussels

When: Every other August, during Assumption Day
Where: Brussels, Belgium

This biennial event takes place at the Grand Place in Brussels. Using over 500,000 begonias, over a hundred volunteers create a massive 77m by 24m flower carpet in less than eight hours. Previous carpet themes include Mexican culture, the Belgo-Japanese relationship, and Turkish tapestry.

Tips

  • Head to the balcony of the Town Hall to get a view of the whole carpet.
  • While it’s beautiful during the daytime, a visit during nighttime is also enjoyable as a concert slash light show is held then.

 

🌷 Infiorata di Genzano

Genzano

When: During the Feast of Corpus Christi in June
Where: Rome, Italy

Similar to Brussels’ Flower Carpet, Infiorata di Genzano features a floral carpet. This one can be found in the main street of the town of Genzano, which leads to the Church of Santa Maria della Cima. It is usually put together by hundreds of floral artists using more than 300,000 blooms, as well as leaves, nuts, wood pieces, and coffee beans.

Tips

  • Bring drinking water. The street leading to the church is uphill so it’s best to keep hydrated.
  • Have lunch or dinner at a local trattoria and try Genzano’s famous porchetta.

 

🌷 The RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Chelsea

When: Five days in May
Where: London, United Kingdom

The Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show is held at the Royal Hospital Chelsea grounds. It prides itself as the most prestigious flower show in the United Kingdom, which is enforced by the British Royal Family’s yearly attendance. It also features trendy garden designs and new plants.

Tips

  • An exclusive Charity Gala Preview is usually held for those who can afford to shell out more money.
  • Food, drink, and shopping stalls are also present, so make sure you have cash and space to take home some souvenirs.

 

🌷 Rose Parade

Pasadena Rose Parade

When: January 1
Where: California, USA

Hosted by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, this famous parade features floral floats, marching bands, and even horses! It is held to mark the Rose Bowl Game, which takes place after the parade. When the parade is over, the floats are parked on two boulevards and can be viewed until January 3.

Tips

  • For a more relaxed viewing, purchase ticketed seats in the grandstand.
  • Whether you’re watching from the grandstand or from the sidewalk, it’s best to arrive before 6:30 AM to ensure that there is space for you.

 

Looking for other floral destinations? Check out the cherry blossoms in Taiwan and Japan!

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