Chiang Mai has many events and festivals all year round, but only three really stand out. Of course, the festival of lights (Loy Krathong) and Thai New Year (Songkran) and the third is Chiang Mai’s very own Flower Festival. People from all over the world travel to Chiang Mai near the end of the cold season to experience the natural beauty and creations. If you are considering coming to Chiang Mai during the winter months, the Flower Festival is a great excuse for a visit.
This year, the Chiang Mai Flower Festival takes place from Friday, February 7th 2020 till Sunday, February 9th 2020.
Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2020: Event Schedule
Friday February 7th at 7:00 PM: Opening ceremony of the 2020 Chiang Mai Flower Festival and exhibition of flower arrangements, decorative plants and mini garden landscaping at Nong Buak Haad Park. The park will be open as well on Saturday the 8th and Sunday the 9th from 9:00 AM – Midnight.
Friday February 7th at 7:00 PM: Opening ceremony of the 44th Flower Festival at the Thapae Gate.
Friday February 7th from 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM: Miss Flower Blooming Beauty Contest at Nong Buak Haad Park.
Saturday February 8th at 8:00 AM: A flower parade of more than 25 flower floats starting from the Nawarat bridge. The parade will go along Thapae road, Kotchasarn road, Changlor road, Arak road and ends at Nong Buak Haad Park.
Saturday February 8th from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Thai Lanna Performance and cultural show at the Thapae Gate.
Saturday February 8th at 7:00 PM: Presentation of awards for The Flower Festival Parade floats at Nong Buak Haad Park.
Sunday February 9th at 6:00 PM: Music performances at Thapae Gate.
Sunday February 9th from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Thai Lanna Performance and cultural show at the Thapae Gate.
The Chiang Mai Flower Festival Parade
The main event of the festival is its street parade. The parade takes place on Saturday the 8th of February 2020 and starts off around 9 am in the morning. But don’t worry, it is quite a slow procession, with the parade regularly pausing. So make sure you get a good spot around 10 am at the city moat and you will see it all. The parade consists of around 25 flower floats, beautifully decorated with thousands of flowers, petals and plants. These are alternated with a wide variety of marching bands, traditional dancers and performers including schoolchildren. Many of the floats feature Buddhist and typical Chiang Mai themes. You will for example not be able to miss the most fantastically colorful elephant idols you have ever seen. All the floats compete in their own yearly competition.
The Parade Route
At the start, the flower float parade lines up on Charoen Muang Road, from the railway station all the way to Nawarat Bridge. After it starts, the parade then moves over the bridge towards the old city, up Tha Phae Road. When it reaches the ancient city wall at Tha Phae Gate, it turns left along the moat. The parade then follows the road all the way to the festival grounds at Suan Buak Haad Public Park. So if you happen to miss the parade, you can still go and admire the floats there after.
The Prize Ceremony and Queen of the Festival Contest
There is the contest for Queen of the Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2020. Most of the contestants were already showing their beauty seated or standing on the floats during the street parade. During a theatrical stage show that includes music performances, the contestants show off their own traditional (dancing) skills and beauty, competing for the much-coveted title.
The contest and the party that follows goes on until late. There are plenty of refreshments and foods to be found in and around the festival grounds and market, so be sure to join in the merriment! In sum, the Chiang Mai Flower Festival is this wonderful city putting its best foot forward, trying to impress everyone coming to watch with its traditional skills and beauty. Every year again, Chiang Mai earns its well-deserved name of ‘Rose of the North’.
If you plan to visit Chiang Mai during the Flower Festival, be mindful that it is a very busy period. Make sure you book your hotel or guesthouse and your tours in time, to avoid disappointment!