Panagbenga Flower Festival

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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February is the coldest month of the year in Baguio, and it is when the erstwhile hill station is at its most beautiful in the daytime, its mountains are blanketed by a cobalt sky, and at night the cold temperatures send one burrowing under thick blankets or reaching for yet another shot of single malt. Be city’s cool dime, pine trees, and picturesque mountain ranges are an essential aspect of Baguio’s century-old allure.
Twenty three years ago, the city government found a way to heat things up by creating the now-famous flower festival, otherwise known as Panagbenga. The origin of the festival is the Begnas di Panagbenga, the indigenous Kankanaey ritual celebrating the conception of rice. Its modern incarnation veers away from rice production and focuses on the region’s flower industry, and Panagbenga today is known as the ‘season of blooming’.
The highlight of the festival is the Grand Float Parade featuring various designs, composed mainly of the vibrant flowers the city is known for. Other events involving the Baguio community, such as the Grand Street Parade, feature a marching band and dance competition between the city’s various elementary schools. In the last two weeks of the festival. iconic Session Road is closed to vehicular traffic, and sidewalk cafes and commercial stalls make locals and tourists alike hanker after a time when Session Road was open only to pedestrians and horses.
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