The Flower Festival of Chiang Mai, Thailand
Every year over the first weekend of February, the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai holds the Chiang Mai Flower Festival. Countless flower floats with very intricate floral arrangements in the shape of mythical characters are paraded through the city accompanied by traditional dancers and marching bands. It's a fascinating sight and there are a lot of other activities that take place, such as Miss Chiang Mai beauty contests (or maybe it's Miss Chiang Mai Flower Festival beauty contest). There are lots of orchid and bonsai competitions, too, from professional growers and cultivators.
The many flower floats all take the same route across the city and end up parked in a long line, where people can walk around taking photos of them at their leisure - or at least until the flowers start wilting under the hot tropical sun.
Most people who visit Thailand spend at least some time in Chiang Mai as it's a very pleasant part of the country. If you're planning a trip to Thailand, February is quite a good time to visit as the lovely cool dry season is still hanging on before the searing heat of the hot season in April. Flowers are at their best and in Chiang Mai, you can catch this colourful festival. It's worth seeing.
There are countless stalls spread around the final destination, (which is at the entrance to a public park called Suan Buak Haad). Food, fruit, clothes and crafts of all kinds are on sale - but centre stage are the flowers and garden plants.
Image Credit » chasmac (me)