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Belgium Flower Carpet Festival: Brussels in Bloom.
Brussels in Bloom flower carpet celebrates a begonia flower festival every two years.
Credit: Gaston Batistini

Capitalizing on the color diversity of the beautiful begonia and its historic commercial cultivation in Belgium, Brussels has created a spectacular festival of flowers that draws visitors from around the world every two years.

In 2014, Brussels will be in bloom from the evening of August 14 through 17 with a packed schedule of events for all ages. There are three light and music shows nightly, as well as fireworks for the opening ceremonies on the evening of August 14.

The theme of a particular carpet is chosen more than a year in advance, usually based on commemoration of great events, or the arms and shield of a town. The careful development of a scale model allows for calculation of the number of flowers and color combinations.

Brussels in Bloom, international flower festivals.
Credit: Mathieu Paternoster/Labo River

Brussels, Belgium international flower holidays.
Credit: Mathieu Paternoster/Labo River

With outlines drawn on the ground prior to the day of design, 100 experienced gardeners descend on Brussels' historic Grand-Place square to put together this giant floral jigsaw puzzle in an amazing four hours. There are 300 flowers to every square meter, adding up to roughly 700,000 flowers in total, tightly packed so as not to blow around in the wind. These plants even create their own micro-climate for a few days!

Brussels in Bloom, international flower festivals.
Credit: Mathieu Paternoster/Labo River

Originally native to the West Indies, begonias have a long association with Belgium, where 80% of the flower's total export production has been commercially cultivated in the Ghent region since the 1860s. Belgium produces 60 million begonia tubers every year, and is recognized as the world's largest producer. What better way to celebrate such illustrious standing in the flower world than to create such a dazzling festival for all to enjoy?

Brussels, Belgium international flower holidays, Brussels in Bloom begonia festival.
Credit: Mathieu Paternoster/Labo River

Informally, various towns have been presenting more modest flower carpets for years, but it was in 1971 that the first official Floral Carpet was unveiled on the Grand-Place in Brussels. The imposing, historical architecture circling the square certainly adds to the uniqueness of this colorful event which must surely raise the spirits and bring a smile to the faces of all those lucky enough to attend.

Brussels, Belgium international flower holidays, Brussels in Bloom begonia festival.
Credit: Mathieu Paternoster/Labo River
Brussels in Bloom, international flower festivals.
Credit: Mathieu Paternoster/Labo River

On August 8, the Brussels Summer Festival also kicks off ten days of music in venues around the city, so that music lovers will be able to enjoy two special events in one visit in 2014.

Follow Up Facts for Belgium Flower Carpet Festival: Brussels in Bloom.
Visit the Brussels' Flower Carpet website for complete information about the August 2014 Brussels in Bloom festival.

Visit the Brussels Summer Festival website for complete information.

For a wider focus on visitor information see Belgium Tourism, Brussels Tourism, and Flanders Tourism.


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