The air was rife last week with the smell of Brussels celebrating its 20th anniversary of the annual Flower Carpet event.
The Grand-Palais – a beautiful plaza of Gothic architecture honored as a Unesco World Heritage site – even features a concert with a specially composed anthem for the event’s theme.
This year’s theme celebrated over 150 years of Belgian and Japanese friendship.
The Tapis de Fleurs includes a committee of artists and designers that use scaled pictures and illustrations to create the festival’s carpet image. Once the design has been confirmed, the flowers can be ordered in advance to highlight each color in the picture.
A week before the flowers are arranged, a drawing is laid down on the cobblestones as a stencil for the volunteers.
It’s no surprise that the festival has been continuing since its first event in 1971 – Belgium is the largest exporter of begonias in the world, supplying over 60 million bulbs a year primarily to France, the United States, and the Netherlands.
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