Chiang Mai flower festival - 2019
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Chiang Mai, จ.เชียงใหม่ Thailand
ROSE OF THE NORTH
The celebration of the end of the cool season with plentihood of flowers is one of the most colorful event of the year.
Every year during the first weekend in February is the Chiangmai Flower Festival. The city is awash with vibrant colors ranging from the electric orange and lilac colors of the bougainvillea to the velvety blossoms of petunias in all shades of pink, white and purple.
The strident red of the poinsettias, bought by many at Christmas and New Years, is echoed by beds of scarlet salvias. Homes and shop owners alike line the city streets with colorful flower boxes. The sheer profusion of color that the flower festival and carnival brings to Chiang Mai aptly gives the city its name “Rose of the North”.
On all three days of the festival, prize blooms are on display at Suan Buak Haad near the city center. Every type of flower, miniature tree and orchid is put on display for the judges to choose the best of the species. Landscape specialists put on an elaborate display, which includes patios and waterfalls with exotic decorative plants and flowers.
Highlight of the festival is the Flower Parade which takes place on Saturday morning.
The flower parade lines up along Charoen Muang Road, all the way from the railway station to Nawarat Bridge. The parade starts, at a time to be advised, and moves up Thaphae Road to Thaphae Gate. It then turns left and follows the moat around to Suan Buak Haad. Typically, the flower parade moves very slowly, and stops frequently. Western-style marching bands from local schools and local drumming groups are interspersed among the floats. Dancers in traditional costumes perform Thai dances, and often those taking part in the flower parade hand out flowers to the spectators.
Many of the girls atop the gaily decorated floats and carriages are candidates for the Miss Chiang Mai Flower Festival competition. By late afternoon the really serious part of the festival, choosing the Chiang Mai Flower Festival Queen, begins. Loud rock music and liquid refreshments aid the deliberations. The party goes on into the evening until the Flower Festival Queen is chosen.