The northern Thailand city of Chiang Mai staged its annual flower festival over the weekend (3-5 February 2017). Beautifully adorned parade floats and the diverse flower stalls set up around Suan Buak Haad Park were a celebration of Chiang Mai’s floral creations and a testament to how it came by the nickname ‘The Rose of Northern Thailand’.
The long parade of floats crossed the Ping River at Nawarat Bridge and travelled west to Thapae Gate. It then turned left and followed the Old City moat as far as Suan Buak Haad. The parade floats were bedecked with flowers in all the colours of the rainbow. A number were crowned by beauty queens perched on lofty thrones. Walkers clad in traditional Thai costumes accompanied the retinue and added additional colour.
Vendors selling flowers, plants and other unique keepsakes had set up stalls around Suan Buak Haad the day before. The main events of the forty-first Chiang Mai Flower Festival were on Saturday, but at Suan Buak Haad the stalls were in place for the duration of the three days of the festival. Visitors got the chance of seeing flowers such as Thailand’s famous orchid genres, red poinsettias, roses, tulips, petunias and vividly hued bougainvillea in all their resplendent glory.
The Chiang Mai Flower Festival is an annual happening and takes place on the first weekend of every February. This coincides with the end of the annual cooler winter season and is when many of the North’s most vibrant flowers are in full bloom.