Make a date for these worldwide flower festivals in 2023 and beyond so you can keep the spring feeling blooming, whatever the season.
Pasadena, California, US
January 2, 2023
First held on New Year's Day in 1890, the Rose Parade is a festival celebrating the warm Californian climate and the fact flowers bloom year round. It's held in Pasadena and, since 1902, has preceded the annual Rose Bowl college football game. Carriages and floats decorated with flowers travel the 9km route, accompanied by marching bands and riders on horseback. Thousands of spectators watch the parade in person, and it's also live on US TV networks.
Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Taking place for three days at the start of February, Chiang Mai's flower festival has been running for more than 40 years and attracts thousands of visitors to the northern Thailand city. As well as an agricultural fair, floral arrangement exhibitions, art shows, and a parade, one of the most popular events is the Chiang Mai Flower Festival Queen competition, with festivities running well into the evening while the winner is chosen.
National Cherry Blossom Festival
Washington DC, US
March to April 2023
The US capital is famous for its 3000-plus cherry trees that burst into pretty pink blossom in spring. The trees were originally given to the city by the mayor of Tokyo in March 1912, and since that date, a four-week festival is held every spring to commemorate the generous gift. Events are designed to honour American and Japanese culture, and include an opening ceremony, kite flying, a parade, live music, a "pink-tie" dinner party and a spectacular fireworks display.
The largest spring festival in the Netherlands, Bloemencorso features a week of activities that celebrate the hyacinths, daffodils and tulips found in Bollenstreek, the country's bulb-growing district. More than a million visitors attend during the week, with the main event being a parade of colourful floats decorated in masses of flowers travelling a 42km route from Noordwijk to Haarlem.
India might not instantly come to mind when you think of tulips, but Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir is home to the largest tulip garden in Asia. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden boasts about 1.5 million tulip bulbs, imported from Amsterdam and planted over about 30ha. The annual festival showcases the flowers in full bloom and, as well as tulips, visitors can enjoy other flowers including hyacinths, narcissus and other ornamental plants.
Chelsea Flower Show
May 22-27, 2023
First held at London's Royal Chelsea Hospital in 1913, the Chelsea Flower Show showcases world-class gardens, floristry and exhibits, as well as giving visitors the chance to get gardening advice from on-site experts. Members of the royal family attend a preview before gates open to the public (tickets must be purchased in advance) for the week-long show. Awards are given to the best exhibits in a variety of categories, including courtyard and city gardens, and junior displays. The last afternoon of the last day sees many of the plants sold off to visitors for bargain prices.
Medellin Feria de las Flores
Feria de las Flores - The Flowers Festival - is one of the most important annual social events on Medellin's calendar. The week-long festival features pageants and concerts, as well as a parade called Desfile de Silleteros, in which participants carry large wooden frame structures (silletas) covered in flowers. The silletas were traditionally used by peasants and indigenous workers who carried their children, cargo and other people on their backs, then later used to transport flowers to be sold at markets, or to be brought to decorate the altars of churches. The first parade took place in 1957 and has since grown to become a popular event for tourists as well as locals.
Brussels Flower Carpet
One to really plan ahead for, this event takes place every two years and is next scheduled for August 2024. An area of 1680sq m in front of Brussels' Grand Place is covered in begonias, dahlias, grass and bark arranged in elaborate patterns. The best view is from the balcony of the town hall and a night-time sound and light show complements the impressive floral masterpiece.