In today's hectic urban lifestyle, a flower festival comes as a breath of fresh air to rejuvenate the senses and experience the love and affection showered by Mother Nature on mankind. It can also be a great way to celebrate the onset of spring, the fragrance of love, vibrant colors of joy, or expressing gratitude through nature's lively creations.
Bloemencorso Flower Parade, Zundert (Netherlands)
First held in 1936, on the occasion of Dutch Queen Wilhelmina's birthday, the parade included just bicycles and farmers' carts decorated with flowers. The idea took off, and has since grown into a social event and the largest flower festival in the world. Held on the first Sunday of September, over 600,000 dahlias of 50 different species are used to cover the floats which compete for the crown of the most beautiful float of the year.Jersey Battle of Flowers, UKCelebrated on the second Thursday of August, annually, for more than a century now, it was first held to commemorate the royal coronation in 1902. During the early years, a tradition was for flowers to be thrown towards the crowd, who threw them back, thus earning the nickname 'battle'. In 1964, this tradition was discontinued, but the festival's popularity has only increased. And today, it is one of the largest flower festivals in Europe.
Over 20,000 spectators come to watch this flower parade every year. Flowers like hydrangeas, gladioli, chrysanthemums, asters, and carnations are used to decorate the floats. The celebration consists of funfairs, musicians, dancers, a huge flower parade, street entertainers, and on the last day, a moonlight parade and fireworks.Genzano Infiorata Flower Festival, Italy
The oldest of all flower festivals, first held in June 1778, the Genzano Infiorata commences in the second week of June and transforms an entire street in the little town to a carpet of flowers with breathtaking designs and details. Every year the locals decide on a theme and choose around 350,000 flowers to decorate the carpet designs. The festival lasts for three days, and on the final day, school kids are allowed to play with the flowers of the carpet (known as Spallamento).Brussels Flower Carpet Festival, BelgiumThe brainchild of Belgian landscape architect Etienne Stautemas, these flower arrangements were initially done on small rugs around the early 1950s. Since 1971, the historical heart of Belgium, the Grand-Palace is the site of one of the largest flower carpets in the world. Held once every two years since 1981, the flower carpet depicts a motif or theme that is chosen well in advance.
The sheer size and numbers of this flower carpet are sure to astound you. Covering an area of roughly 1800 sq. m, or (75m X 24m), this event held on the weekend after 15th of August is a treat for sore eyes. The flower carpets made up of about 700,000 tightly packed begonias, or roughly 300 every sq. meter, are assembled by 100 volunteers in about 4 hours! The true scale and magnificence of this wonder can be enjoyed only by viewing it from atop one of the buildings adjoining the square.Canadian Tulip Festival, Ottawa, CanadaOttawa was gifted 100,000 tulips by Princess Juliana of Holland as a symbol of friendship when the Canadian government allowed refuge to the Dutch royal family during World War II. During this refuge, Princess Juliana gave birth to Princess Margriet, for the sake of being the rightful heir (the heir to the Dutch throne should be born in the country he/she will rule in future), the Canadian government declared the room of the birth of Princess Margriet as "Dutch soil". Even today, Holland gifts Ottawa around 20,000 tulips every year as a token of gratitude.
Held in the month of May every year, this is the largest tulip festival in the world, boasting over 600,000 visitors annually. While the first tulip festival was held in 1953, comprising 750,000 tulips, today over a million tulip bulbs of 50 varieties are cultivated in beds planted at 30 sites across the Canadian capital city.Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, Washington, USA
This tulip festival was first held in 1984 by Jerry Diggerness and Joan Houchen. Every year in the month of April, over 1 million visitors across the world come to witness vibrant blooming tulips spread across 300 acres.Initially, this festival was celebrated only for 3 days, while for the last five years, it is celebrated for 30 days. This was done to accommodate the different blossoming times of different types of tulips, daffodils, and irises. Street fairs, barbecues, and other fundraising activities are also a part of this festival.Chiang Mai Flower Festival, Thailand
Held for 3 days in the first week of February, this festival fist began in 1971. It hosts a flower float competition that comprises around 25 floats made up of varieties of chrysanthemums, bougainvillea, petunia and the damask rose. The festival also organizes a beauty pageant, along with an exhibition and sale of local arts and craft.Pasadena Rose Parade, California USA
This flower parade was first organized on 1st Jan 1890 by the Pasadena Valley Hunt Club. Today, it has grown into a festival of flowers, music, and sports. A unique feature of this rose parade is, it is not held if the first of January falls on a Sunday. The event also includes a beauty pageant and horse parade.Sometimes, mere words are not enough to express what you are. It's your qualities that render your presence. The mere mention of the word flower, triggers the scent, softness and inherent vibrant colors of a flower. Such is the power of one of Mother Nature's prettiest creations. Feeling is believing.