Chiang Mai is also known as the Rose of the North. This becomes apparent with the flower festival of Chiang Mai which happens in the first week of February. It is a yearly fest which starts on the first Friday of February. It starts on Friday evening and ends on Sunday night. The flower festival is clubbed with street parades, evening markets, music concerts, and Miss Flower Festival Queen. Since it is a flower festival the flower décor is breathtaking. The festival’s origin dates back to 1970. It is a family-friendly affair celebrated by locals as well.
Though the festival is celebrated all over the city its base is the Suan Buak Haad. It is a city park where all the floats are parked and displayed. The park is located on the southwest corner of the moat and is wonderful to visit any time during the Flower Festival of Chiang Mai. The old city moat is known locally as ‘Jeng Ku Hueang‘. This place becomes a traffic-free zone during the festival. It is then converted into a walking street market. You will find food vendors, entertainment, and stalls selling a variety of flowers and plants. The park itself is so beautiful and when the locals add traditional flower arrangements, it is an explosion of colors. Also, read the Chiang Mai Festival of Bo Sang.
Though the official time of the flower festival of Chiang Mai is 7:00 AM on Friday, it is somewhat a soft launch. The festival starts at 7:00 PM. The main event, the street parade, starts at 9:00 AM the next day. The parade consists of flower floats which are beautifully decorated with thousands of flowers, petals, and plants. The procession is a pretty slow affair with a lot of stops. The parade includes vintage cars, marching bands, traditional dancers, and performers. The procession starts from Nawarat Bridge on the Ping River before making its way down towards Thapae Gate and around and then reaches Buak Hat Park in the south-west corner of the old city. The Suan Buak Haad Park is where all the moats are parked. If you missed the parade you can see it all there.
You will see a lady sitting in the moats. These are the contestants for the beauty pageant which will happen in the evening. The evening show has traditional dances, music performances, and a beauty contest. This goes late in the night. But do not worry you have a lot of food to check, the market, and photo ops. In the end, the winner is announced. The Sunday is also filled with music performances and the traditional Lana Dance. Also, read festivals of Thailand.
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