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Dalat Flower Festival

January 4, 2012

The Dalat flower festival is the largest event that the city sees. It happens around New Years every other year, and draws thousands from around Vietnam. There are flowers everywhere, many different markets set up for vendors to show their products, lavish opening ceremonies and shows, and dance demonstrations and flash mobs in the center of the city each night. While I avoided most of the crowds (we were out driving on New Years and the traffic was ridiculous), getting to see the scenery was a must. After the break are select pictures from Theo and my trek around the city on Monday afternoon. The full album is here.

There were many floats lined up on the road down towards the lake, waiting for the parade in the evening. This one was sponsored by Kotex and Huggies, apparently. I don’t know about you, but when I think about flowers, I think about tampons and diapers.

Another float. This one is about Austrailia, I think. There’s a kangaroo, at least. Could the thing in front be Ayer’s Rock?

All of the fountains in town were running (they normally aren’t), and this main one had flowery swans chilling in it. As you can see, people can just walk into parts of the fountain. This picture is sadly a little tilted: it was taken ff the back of Theo’s motorbike.

Many of the hillsides had messages spelled out on them in flowers. This is on the far side of the lake.

A few sculpture/flower gardens were set up around the lake. This particular picture showcases a sculpture displaying the traditional farmer’s hat and Vietnamese women’s love of posing with things.

Another sculpture, this one showing the theme of “fans”.

A view of the lake: you can see the swan paddle boats paddling along. Also, the lake is an attractive shade of green.

A festival, of course, means that there can be many opportunities to sell things. These attractive wooden motorbikes, cars, boats, and various other things were at a market area set up just for the festival.

This wooden furniture set features the Four Saintly Beasts: You can see the dragon, tortoise, and qilin: the phoenix is in another piece of the set.

Also for sale were small fountains like this one.

A wooden dragon says hello. Hey buddy!

A parrot mosaic. Mosaics are somewhat common, more common are thread paintings.

Here is the main stadium where the opening ceremonies and many other shows took place. It’s impressively sized, for Dalat. The bleachers are still under construction, but they let people just wander around them during the day.

The main stage. All of this space was used during the shows. Vietnam loves putting on performances.

The bleachers are littered with watermelon seeds (and to a lesser extent, cigarette butts). Just like back home!

These large dresses were used during shows. Singers and models would sit at the top and someone would stand in the bottom and roll them around. Apparently giant conical women are attractive.

Two maintenance workers climb the scaffolding, without any safety equipment, in order to work on the lights.

Hey, an actual flower at the flower festival! This guy was up near the market.

The street leading to the upper market was lined with flowerpots and styrofoam decorations like this bee here.

The bee’s wings were completely slathered with glitter. Things get covered in glitter a lot here.

What did I tell you?

A styrofoam guitar, and another Vietnamese woman posing with it. They pose for pictures all the time.

Styrofoam music notes.

More of the flowers lining the road.

These flowers were in a garden down by the lower portion of the market.

This inflatable dragon gate served as an entrance to a market lining the road on our side of the lake. On New Years Eve, it was a chore to drive through the insane foot traffic caused by the huge crowds in this market.

This market sold a lot of flowers themselves, including multicolored cactus flowers!

Also bonsai trees!

Also for sale: These things. I have no idea what they are.

Tourists relax in a birdcage-lined gazebo in a small park on a hill by this road. There were a lot of sights to see at the flower festival, and I while I didn’t get to show any of the greater spectacles of any ceremonies, I hope you all got a nice glimpse of what the flower festival was like!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Doug Bolick permalink
    January 5, 2012 6:33 pm

    Most excellent, Dan; you have a good eye. Not sure about the market, but you could certainly put together an interesting printed travelogue.

    Thread paintings? I have some old ‘iron paintings’, but can’t remember if from Vietnam or Hong Kong.

    I didn’t see any women dressed in ao dai; is that uncommon now?

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