flowerfestival.jpgChiang Mai is a city in north Thailand. It is well known as a city which is saturated with evidences of an age-old civilisation. There are lots of archaeological sites, ancient temples, shimmering pagodas, and time-weathered city walls which leads to giving Chiang Mai its exotic connotation.

One of Chiang Mai’s great tourist attractions period falls in February every year. It is the annual flower carnival which attracts international visitors along with the locals. Early February is the perfect time for this festival because of the climate conditions during this period. The cool of the winter allows the cultivation of not only exotic tropical flowers, such as orchids, but also blooms like carnations,roses and chrysanthemums. Throughout the years, as Chiang Mai became more widely known for its magnificent array of floral beauty, it eventually gained the title of ‘The Rose of the North’.

During this time, the city will be covered with vibrant colors, ranging from the bright orange and lilac of bougainvillea to the velvety blossoms of petunias in all shades of pink, white and purple. The strident red of poinsettias, bought by many at Christmas and New Year, is echoed by beds of scarlet salvias.

The Chiang Mai Flower Festival is similar to other flower festivals hosted around the world such as Taiwan’s In-Season Flower Festival, Japan’s Sakura Festival, and the Netherlands’s and Belgium’s Flower Parades. Thailand’s first Flower Festival was held in Chiang Mai back in 1977 and was such a success that it was made into an annual event.

During this festival, there will be parades, beauty contests, shows, stage entertainment, and exhibitions. While it is true that most festivals will have the above attractions in common, each of the festival actually possesses its own unique characteristics and individualistic personality.

The main highlight in this festival is that there will be many flower floats which will be decorated with a beautiful array of floral species and each flower, each petal, each shade of colour is carefully selected and positioned on the float to form patterns, words and pictures. Each float conveys a unique architecture.

There is the old sayings that “beautiful flowers often comes with pretty women”. Most of the flower floats will have a beauty contestants who sits at the top and waving to the public as the parade goes on. Each contestant will wears the local Northern costume, giving visitors and locals the opportunity to witness the traditional local dress.