Flower Power: Best flower festivals around the world!

By Sergio González | 10:57

‘Bloemencorso’ in Zundert

Call us naïve, romantic or just green lovers but Spring is here once again and among all the cool things that it’s bringing, the blooming of nature is clearly on top. Walking around a blossoming city garden can do wonders for our health -mind spring allergies- and also feed our spirit, but many people think we can do better, so get ready to check out the best flower festivals in Europe, a cool excuse for a well-worth-it getaway.

A country where the oddest tulips were traded for houses and where the first stock exchange ever was created around them surely proves they like flowers and know a couple of things. The Flower Festival of Bloemencorso (‘flower parade’ in Dutch) takes place in The Netherlands and some parts of Belgium. Among the dozens you can attend, Zundert’s is the largest and greatest.

Started as a bucolic rural parade for Queen Wilhelimina’s birthday in 1936, Zundert’s flower parade has bloomed into a spectacular pageant of crafting skills, scenic design and collaboration. The whole town works elbow to elbow and along Breda’s Art Academy to come up with the greatest floats. Sadly, flowers don’t last forever and the show only runs from 1:30 pm until 6 pm the first Sunday of September. Want to  see it for yourself?

If you don’t feel like waiting until September, in the English county of Lincolnshire, Spalding Flower Parade runs a similar story, this time for the jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary, whose anniversary is at the same time tulips like blossoming. When? Saturday May 4th 2013 at 2 pm, Spalding.

Watching floats designed with up to 100,000 flowers isn’t enough for you? I’m afraid you’ll have to travel to the breath-taking French-Italian Riviera. Battaglia di Fiori (‘flower battle’) which happens in the beautiful coastal village of Ventimiglia, one hour away from Nice. It’s also a parade, with an Italian sophisticated style twist, but the next day’s show ends up with another Italian liking, beautiful girls get on the flower floats and shower the audience with thousands of flowers.

In another Mediterranean city, this time in Valencia, Spain, during Batalla de Flores it’s the other way round; viewers carry thousands of carnations to throw to the floats as the parade goes up and down Alameda Avenue. The results? A flowery carpet that scents the whole city until the morning light.

Covering the streets with flowers is Genzano’s mastery. This little renaissance village outside Rome reproduces religious imagery and famous Italian paintings on Via Italo Belardi every single June since 1778. It’s another can’t miss from Italy.

Brussels flower carpet

We finish this list of flowers festivals with a very special event in Brussels. So unique it only takes place every two years though meant to be enjoyed by everyone. It’s free and a better view from the Town Hall balconies which cost just around €5. The already fascinating Grand Place gets covered by a huge flower carpet in the middle of summer. This flower festival is only for the patient because it won’t happen again until August 15th, 2014. What Spring festivals are on your must-see list? 

Photo credit: Foto van Hassel BV

Photo credit: Wouter Hagens

 

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