15 May 2020 - 5 min read
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.