Chiang Mai’s Annual Flower Festival Parade

Posted by on Feb 7, 2013 in Destinations, Featured, Thailand - Chiang Mai, Travel Photo Thursday | 40 comments

Chiang Mai’s Annual Flower Festival Parade…


Welcome to another week of Travel Photo Thursday. Chiang Mai’s annual flower fest is history for this year. This weekend we will be celebrating Chinese New Year. Chiang Mai is home to many Chinese, and there will be lots of festivities to ring in the year of the snake. Before we head into CNY, I want to share with you some of my favorite shots of the flower festival parade. The parade is the highlight of the festival, winding through the old city for 3 or 4 hours until it reaches its final destination at Buat Hat Park.

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Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2013


 Lots of dancing in this parade that lasts at least 3 hours…


Thai Dancer, Chiang Mai Flower Festival Parade 2013






Lady in purple…


Lady in Purple, Chiang Mai Flower Festival Parade 2013


A close up of her head gear…


Head Shot of the Lady in Purple



Floating by….(Covered in REAL flowers)


Floating By, Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2013



Parading Angels…


Parading Angels, Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2013



And what would a parade be without a marching band?…



Flute Player, Chiang Mai Flower Festival Parade 2013



And, the beautiful Hill Tribe children in their colorful traditional costumes…


Beautiful Traditional Costumes, Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2013

Wearing a traditional Hill Tribe head peace -- Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2013


Traveler’s Tip…

The parade is always held on the Saturday of the festival weekend (usually the first weekend in February). Although the starting time is advertised as 8:00am, don’t be surprised if it doesn’t start on time. This year things didn’t get going until almost 10:00am. There are lots of food and beverage vendors, so you won’t starve or “die” of thirst. You can even rent a chair to rest your weary feet. Unlike parades in the west, you will not be forced behind barricades. Spectators are free to mingle and get their photos taken with the parade participants.





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  1. Their costumes are great! I love all the colors on the Hill Tribe children. The floats look like a smaller version of the Rose Parade here in the US. I remember you posting on FB waiting for this parade. It looks like it was worth the wait 🙂

    • it was worth the wait, Mary. Although, I have attended this parade several times over the years, I never tire of it.

  2. What a wonderful flower festival and the colours are incredible. The last photo of the girl in her head-dress is quite arresting. Her expression is so full of intent and the vibrancy of her costume is stunning.

    • Hi Johanna, I always love seeing the hill tribe children in their costumes. They are always stunning.

  3. The last shot is my favourite – so beautiful. Wish I had been there to see the parade in real life, but your photos capture the colour and atmosphere.

  4. I hadn’t realised it was CNY this week. What a great time to be Chiang Mai. I love the photos of the hill tribe children. I’t would be fabulous to visit this area. Have you been, Nancie?

    • Jenny, I visited a Hill Tribe village many years ago. Sadly, most of the villages close to CM that allow tourists are simply tourist traps. The best experience I have had seeing the hill tribe people was at a local festival in a town called Mae Chaem.

  5. Hi Nancie, what wonderful parade! Beautiful faces, colorful costumes, and lovely photos.

    • Thank you, Marisol. This festival is always a lot of fun to photograph.

  6. Wonderful, I love festivals like this!
    Great photos, Nancie! (^_^)

    • Agree! I try never to miss a festival when I’m traveling.

  7. Wow- the purple dress is beautiful! Great shots- love the first close up of the girl too.

  8. Well Nancie, You’ve pushed us over the edge. We are talking Asia for 2014 – it has been far too long since we were in Chang Mai and these photos reminded us of that fact so clearly!

    • Over the edge…haha…love it! Well I hope that we can meet up in 2014; wouldn’t that be fun!

  9. Nice to hear there are no barriers between the spectators and the participants in the parade. Sounds like a more intimate and fun parade that way. Love the bright costumes, especially the hill tribe children.

  10. The parade looks like fun and seems quite orderly despite the fact that there are no barricades and people can join in. I like the lady in purple.

  11. Wow how pretty! I had never seen photos of this festival.

  12. I love the second photo – for the composition and the fact that the girl can bend in ways that are not possible for this body of mine. The girl in the purple dress is stunning.

    • Leigh, I am always amazed by anyone who has flexibility like that dancer…jealous too…haha

  13. I love parades!

  14. I love the beautiful faces you have captured. With Nancie, life is a festival!

  15. Love the vibrant colours of the costumes and the beautiful flowers – it looks like such a fun celebration!

    • It really is a lot of fun, and the city goes all out for the event.

  16. Love all the colors! This parade seems a little like our Rose Parade.

  17. Having just attended a western parade, with barricades, how nice it must have been to be able to mingle. I wondered how you got all those fabulous photos!

    • Yes, being able to get out on the road in the thick of things means great photos.

  18. Great, colorful shots! The event looks like a cross between Pasadena’s Rose Parade and New Orleans’ Mardi Gras.

    • Thank, Dick. I would love to go to both of those festivals sometime.

  19. Yep, gotta have a marching band! Very cool pics of what looks like a totally fun parade. The purple lady’s headgear is amazing.

    • Love the marching bands. They always play such great music.

  20. What I love about festivals is they’re so colorful. This one is no exception. The head gear of the purple dress girl is amazing. Seems they have put lot of effort in making it. Beautiful photos Nancy!

    • They do go all out with the costumes, particularly the hats. They are amazing.

  21. Love the colorful costumes!

  22. A fun photo series, and some useful tips!


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