Flower festivals are blooming around the world

Lavandula (lavender) fields in bloom, Provence, Sault, France
Raimondo Restelli/Getty

“I must have flowers, always and always,” said French painter Claude Monet. Around the world, green thumbs who share her sentiment are gearing up for a litany of festivals and flower shows. Many of them not only pay homage to beloved local flowers, but also hold deep cultural significance in their regions. From Medellín, Colombia’s “City of Eternal Spring,” to Namaqualand, South Africa’s magical wildflower region, here are the spectacular perennials worth seeing.

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MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA – AUGUST 07: Iconic category winner Silletera Blanca Rosa Atehortua is seen during Feria de las Flores Medellín 2016 at Ave Guayabal on August 07, 2016 in Medellín, Colombia.
Gabriel Aponte/Getty

Fair of Las Flores
Medellin, Colombia
August 8 to 15, 2022

“The City of Eternal Spring” shows itself best in August, as locals decorate their balconies with flowers and prepare for one of the biggest flower festivals in the world. A favorite tradition is the Desfile de Silleteros, during which local farmers create flower arrangements on saddlesor chairs carried on a person’s back.

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Brussels Flower Rug
Peter Langer/Getty

Brussels Flower Rug
August 12 to 15, 2022

A group of illustrators, graphic designers, and landscape architects come together every year to design this large-scale floral puzzle. Each year, a new theme is proposed and, once the logistics are in place, dozens of volunteer gardeners assemble the carpet.

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Bunch of lavender flowers on white background
Tiberius Vaduva/Getty

Lavender Festival
Sault, France
August 15, 2022

Throughout southern France, locals celebrate the beloved lavender flowers with fairs and festivals. The most important is held in Sault, a preserved historic village in the heart of Provence known for its cultivation of lavender; one of the highlights of the all-day festival is that visitors are encouraged to pick their own flowers.

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Trail through blooming flowers in Namaqualand

Namaqualand Flower Festival
VanRhynsdorp, South Africa
From September 2 to 4, 2022

This participant-led gathering is for those who “love flowers, like-minded life lovers, the outdoors, the stars, and who have many different experiences.” During the time when the dusty desert terrain turns into fields of blooming wildflowers, festival-goers spend the weekend camping, taking nighttime bush treks and learning traditional dances.

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A child smells flowers during the Floriade Festival in Canberra.
Ryan Osland Ros/Sydney Morning Herald/Getty

Canberra, Australia
From September 17 to October 16, 2022

The fair is not only an ode to flowers, but to the spring season. Stroll through the park during the day and sip wine while admiring over a million bulbs in bloom. Then, head to NightFest for a musical performance, with this year’s theme “Sounds of Spring.”

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Low Angle View Of Cherry Blossom in India
Akshay Patel/Getty

cherry blossom festival
Shillong, India
From November 14 to 17, 2022

Not the town most commonly associated with cherry blossoms, Shillong is now a top destination to view these vibrant trees, while experiencing the festival’s literary readings, cosplay fashion show and cooking competitions. In 1975, Meghalaya, India’s first Chief Secretary, Nari Rustomji, brought the first seeds from Japan and planted them around his house. He eventually sent some to have others scattered throughout the city.

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Flower decoration on the street at flower festival in Dalat, Vietnam
Thang Tat Nguyen/Getty

Da Lat Flower Festival
City of Da Lat, Vietnam
November to end of December 2022

The flowers may be the main attraction here, but this festival offers something for everyone. Take a helicopter ride, attend the hot air balloon festival, watch a street performance by international dancers or the locals’ favorite soccer tournament.

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Close up of California poppy flowers

California Poppy Festival
Lancaster, California
April 2023

This festival, an annual tradition for decades in Lancaster, celebrates the state flower of California. Amid the bright red and orange poppy fields, you’ll also find live music and entertainment, rides, a beer garden, and vendors selling local art and food.

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pink peony
Jerry Schiller/Getty

Peony Festival
Oshawa, Canada
June 10-11, 2023

Blooming only for a short time in summer, peonies hold deep symbolism in cultures around the world. The Oshawa Festival pays homage to the beloved perennial, showcasing more than 300 varieties and hosting gardening seminars. Participate in the festival’s Peony Show for a chance to win the title of greenest thumb or submit your interpretation of a peony in any medium to the art competition.

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