The calla lilies at Zhuzihu (Bamboo Lake) in Yangmingshan National Park are in full bloom. Flower lovers from all over Taiwan are rushing to the mountain to spend the afternoon wandering through a valley of white blossoms flanked by gently rolling mountains.
Yangmingshan’s Calla Lily Festival is in full swing with less than three weeks to go.
Despite the traffic, it’s a lovely way to spend the afternoon. For as little as $100NT you can pick your own bundle of flowers. Be prepared to get your feet muddy, as most of the flowers are out-of-reach and require adventuresome or die-hard flower addicts to wander barefoot through the mud.
I’ll go out of my way for flower festivals of any sort and this one is definitely one of the best ones I’ve been to. I come from a line of flower worshippers. My Nana mastered Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. I wish she had lived long enough to pass on her knowledge.
My Mother has ten green digits and seems to be able to make anything grow. I especially love it when I’m home to see her peony bushes in all their glory. I wish I could make things grow the way she does.
Me? I think I’ve gleaned enough knowledge from the two of them to feed my passion for flowers and all things green. John is constantly amazed at my ability to identify most of the flowers we see on our journeys. I like to photograph them and nothing makes me happier than having a fresh bouquet in the house.
The elegant, trumpet-shaped calla lily is also known as the arum lily. It’s one of my favorites. It originally came from Africa and is known for it’s distinctive thick green stem and hardy trumpet-shaped bloom. It symbolizes “magnificent beauty” and comes in a dark purple, yellow, pink and orange. It’s most popular in white. Calla lilies are perfect for flower arranging because of their long, straight stems, and are a favorite for wedding bouquets. Visit Calla Lily Festival Part Two for more photos.
By that time, we had already seen half the island by motorcycle. You can check out my series on The Motorcycle Diaries if you’d like to learn more about traveling Taiwan by motorcycle.
If you’d like to see some images and commentary about some of the other flower festivals I’ve been to in Taiwan over the years, you can have a look at these articles:
Callas from Yangmingshan (2008)