Flowers are among nature’s greatest, most amazing creations. Regardless of nationality and background, every person truly appreciates and embraces the beauty of flowers.
All around the world, different countries hold flower festivals in their own unique way to pay tribute to both the wonders of nature and their rich culture. Each of these festivities celebrate the life, hope, and joy that the abundance of beautiful blooms represent.
In this two-part article, we’ll take you on a tour through the top 10 most fascinating flower festivals across the globe! We’ll explore all the unforgettable experiences you just can’t miss out on the next time you plan to travel.
1. Pasadena Rose Parade
Now more than a century old, this parade boasts a consistently wide and faithful audience every year: hundreds of thousands of flower fanatics line up to see the rose floats, while local and global audiences enjoy television viewings in the comfort of their homes. It was first held in 1890, prompted by the Valley Hunt Club of Pasadena. Former club president Professor Charles Holder wanted to showcase California’s blooming “paradise” of flowers and fruits in the midst of winter, which led to the start of this spectacular celebration.
The parade features exquisitely sculpted rose floats, covered to the last inch in gorgeous blooms and natural material to create a breathtaking floral showcase. The event also includes live music from marching bands, costumed horses with a variety of entertainment skills, a beauty contest, and The Rose Bowl, a much-anticipated football game. Filled with enchanting displays and exciting events, The Pasadena Rose Bowl always leaves everyone in high spirits.
2. Battaglia di Fiori (“Battle of the Flowers”)
Among the grandest and most flamboyant flower festivals in the world is The Battaglia di Flori, held once every two years. The two-day celebration is packed full of captivating sights and fun festivities, the first of which is the extravagant flower parade. Communities from all around Ventimiglia create gorgeously elaborate floats made up of thousands (up to a whopping 80,000) of flowers to vie for awards during the float competition.
The first day’s flower parade is accompanied by dances, music, food, and fireworks. On the second day, floats once again strut down the streets of Ventimiglia, greeted by thousands of excited spectators. Then, the “battle” begins: citizens and tourists alike create a shower of flowers, pelting blooms at each other in a light-hearted manner—leaving behind a trail of lively scents and a carpet of beautiful blooms all around the city.
3. Canadian Tulip Festival
Known as one of the biggest tulip showcases worldwide, the Canadian Tulip festival boasts up to a million tulips in vibrant colors and hundreds of varieties, all lined up in several parks around the area. It’s a major tourist attraction for Ottawa with hundreds of thousands of visitors around the world arriving yearly just to see the amazing display themselves.
Historical tours, concerts, tulip artwork and sculpture exhibits, fun activities for kids, and fireworks are all part of the experience. It’s considered a family-friendly event that provides viewing pleasures and amazing experiences for all ages. The highlight, of course, is still the beautiful tulip bulbs that are sure to take anyone’s breath away.
4. The Flower Carpet
Volunteers from all around Belgium gather every two years to the Grand Place in Brussels to create this historic and magnificent work of art. They carefully weave together a specifically themed carpet made entirely of thousands of begonias, extending to more than 1,800 meters. The task is accomplished in about 4 hours and made open for public viewing for four days.
A tradition that began in 1971, the event was initiated to acknowledge the migration of Turkish workers to Belgium. Today, it celebrates both the hospitality of Belgium along with its extraordinary attractions, and most of all its show-stopping begonias. Visitors take in the colorfully picturesque blooms, while admiring the unique artistry and intricate details of the carpet.
A million flowers bloom along Lake Burley Griffin in Commonwealth Park where the famed Floriade festival takes place. Flourishing with tulips, poppies, hyacinths, irises, pansies, daisies, and several other blossoming beauties, hundreds of thousands of people flock to Canberra every year to see the enchanting fields. They also enjoy garden bed masterpieces from different artists, which are uniquely designed based on their interpretations of the festival’s theme, which varies from year to year.
Every year, the people’s spirit of creativity is brought to life/celebrated with the Floriade Festival. There are fun activities little ones are sure to love, like exciting boat rides that provide a great view of the flowers or the wacky gnome painting competition. Adults are sure to have a blast too, with live music and comedy, beer and wine sampling, and of course, the many markets with flowers and goodies. For gardening enthusiasts, they also hold horticultural workshops with talks from both professionals and celebrities.
Continue: Flower Festivals Part II
Photo by Christian Wiediger