The Flower Festival of Chiang Mai in Thailand
The Flower Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand is known for a wealth of colourful events held throughout the year, but few, if any, can match the amazingly colourful Flower Festival of Chiang Mai, Thailand's unofficial 'capital of the north'.
The festival takes place over the first weekend in February and is marked with a procession of flower floats, marching bands, and traditionally costumed dancers. In addition, the street at the procession's final destination hosts countless market stalls, cultural events and a bewildering array of cultivated flower species on display, including prize winning orchids, bonsai trees, cacti and more - much more.
The main attractions, at least visually, are the flower floats with their incredibly intricate flower arrangements depicting traditional Thai and Buddhist images and icons. The attention to detail is highly impressive and the results are stunning and striking as the following pictures show.
The procession gets underway around 8am. It starts from Narawat Bridge over the Ping River and makes its way westwards across the city to Buak Hard Park, which is situated at the south western corner of the moat surrounding the old city. It's well into the afternoon by the time the floats complete their journey. They line up at the end of their journey outside the park, and the intricate flower patterns and texture can be examined in fine detail by all the spectators.
The festivities and side events going on at the end of the procession include,beauty contests, as well as Thai dancing, orchid and bonsai competitions among professional growers and other cultural events, plus quite a lot of eating and drinking well into the evening.
The event is such a visual feast that words can't do it justice. Photos can do a much better job, so without further comment from me, enjoy some of the sights of this amazingly colourful and vibrant spectacle.