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The Flower Festival of Chiang Mai in Thailand

Updated on October 12, 2016

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.

Beauty contestant on flower float - Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Beauty contestant on flower float - Chiang Mai Flower Festival | Source
Flower sculpture - Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand
Flower sculpture - Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand | Source

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.

Marching band at Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand
Marching band at Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand | Source

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.

Flower float at Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Flower float at Chiang Mai Flower Festival | Source
Spectators at Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand
Spectators at Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand | Source
Floral sculptures at Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand
Floral sculptures at Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand | Source
Prize-winning orchids at Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Prize-winning orchids at Chiang Mai Flower Festival | Source
Prize-winning bonsai at Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Prize-winning bonsai at Chiang Mai Flower Festival | Source
Floral sculpture at Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand
Floral sculpture at Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand | Source

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    • chasmac profile image
      Author

      chasmac 4 years ago from UK

      Thanks Peachpurple. Yes, Thailand has some amazing festivals, doesn't it? I also have a video hub on the crazy Thai 'water-throwing' Songkran festival if you're interested. See my profile for the link.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      Chiang Mai festival is an awesome festival worth to watch. I love the photos you have upload. Beautiful and amazing. Lots of flowers used and kind of wasted. Nice to know more about Thailand festival. Hope to read more festival celebrated there. Voted up

    • chasmac profile image
      Author

      chasmac 5 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the comments SG and Rochelle- Yes, it's a sight worth seeing.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Wonderful hub! Great information and absolutely beautiful pictures! This is something I would love to be able to see. Voted up and beautiful! :)

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thailand always enters a spectacular flowered float in the New Year's Rose parade in Pasadena, California. Now I see they have extensive experience in this sort of thing. Thanks for sharing the photos.

      It must have been wonderful to experience this event, in person.