Did you know that Blue Monday, known as the most depressing day of the year, falls in January? This year, why not skip it with eSky? Nothing feels better than planning a dream trip. So book your spring getaway now and escape the winter gloom. So where and when should you travel? Here are our top five festivals to welcome spring in style!

Blue Monday” falls at the beginning of January. But what does it even mean? This term was coined by British psychologist Cliff Arnall and is associated with the lower mood that tends to follow the festive season. According to Arnall’s mathematical formula, Blue Monday, considered the most depressing day of the year, falls on the third Monday in January and coincides with a number of unfavourable meteorological, psychological and financial factors.

Travelling – the best mood-booster!

While some people treat Arnall’s theory as a myth, there are those that can identify with his views. One thing is certain – Blue Monday 2023 falls on January 16 and so if you feel a temporary drop in mood and want to quickly improve it, look ahead to the upcoming spring. Nothing evokes the optimism of springtime quite like flower festivals. If you want to attend one of these colourful events, it’s worth planning your trip in advance. Read on for five suggestions for you to celebrate the arrival of spring through travel this year!

A city in Madeira decorated for Flower Festival © iStock
A city in Madeira decorated for Flower Festival © iStock

Tulip Festival, Amsterdam

No list of flower festivals could possibly be complete without this showstopper! The Amsterdam Tulip Festival runs from April 23 to May 14. During this time, the entire city is decorated with colourful tulips, with a special map of the event helping p you to easily locate them – you can even explore according to your favorite species! The city’s bridges, shop windows and streets will be adorned with flowers, giving a wonderful atmosphere. The highlight of the festival is the Flower Parade, which is scheduled for April 22. Huge platforms will be decorated with tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, while musicians, animators and dancers entertain the festival’s many visitors.

A woman in the tulip fields © iStock
A woman in the tulip fields © iStock

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If you’d like to immerse yourself in flowers even more, then the entire Bollenstreek region is famous for its tulip fields. Be sure to plan your visit to Keukenhof and buy tickets in advance online. Its carefully designed gardens are full of colours, stimulating the senses and providing the perfect background for photos. You’ll need a few hours to explore the entire area at a leisurely pace. Prefer to visit a working tulip farm? Choose De Tulperij in Voorhout. If you want to know more about Amsterdam, read our article about city breaks in Amsterdam.

Hanami Festival, Japan

Hanami or Sakura, you will almost certainly be familiar with Japan’s famous Cherry Blossom Festival. Regardless of which name you use, you can count on an unforgettable experience during your trip to Japan. Blossoming cherry trees attract both locals and tourists, and the Hanami Festival is the ideal time to enjoy picnics under cherry trees as you admire the majestic awakening of nature. True romantics often admire this spectacle by night, carrying softly-lit paper lanterns to light their way. Sakura is a tradition, but also a moment when the Japanese reflect on the issue of mortality and the circle of life.

Cherry trees blossoming in Tokyo © iStock
Cherry trees blossoming in Tokyo © iStock

The Cherry Blossom Festival takes place at the end of March and beginning of April. Exact flowering dates are, of course, dependent on the weather and the location itself. Many tourists travel to Tokyo, where the festival usually takes place in the last days of March. The flowering of a cherry tree happens over the course of around 10-14 days, however it is only in full bloom for a few days. The best places to see the cherry blossoms in Tokyo include Ueno Park and along the banks of the Meguro River.

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Madeira Flower Festival

Madeira, also known as the Island of Eternal Spring, is a great travel destination at any time of the year. However, the welcoming of spring introduces powerful explosion of colours and scents to this picturesque destination! While the festival atmosphere is felt all over the island, the main festivities are held in Funchal, Maderia’s capital. The 2023 Madeira Flower Festival will take place between April 27 and May 21, so you have plenty of options when choosing your travel dates.

Madeirans in traditional clothes carrying baskets to flower festival © iStock
Madeirans in traditional clothes carrying baskets to flower festival © iStock

Funchal’s residents and visitors take part in numerous fairs, concerts and exhibitions during the festival. And while the main parade takes place on April 30, it is worth noting that the festival schedule is packed to the brim. A children’s flower wall ceremony on April 29 represents a call for peace and hope for a better world. All celebrations are accompanied by music, dances, colourful floral costumes and, of course, Madeira wine! What else is there to do besides the flower festival? Check out the Top 5 hiking trails on the island that will delight nature-lovers.

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Książ Castle Flower Festival, Wałbrzych

Let’s head now to Poland, and the annual flower festival at Książ Castle in Wałbrzych, a city in Lower Silesian Voivodeship. Located on a rocky outcrop surrounded by a forest, the castle and park complex is not only a treat for lovers of architecture and history, but also really good fun. This year, the festival’s theme is “The secret garden of Princess Daisy von Pless“, and all events will take place between April 24 and May 3.

Książ Castle © iStock
Książ Castle © iStock

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Assuming that the festival will follow a similar pattern to previous events, the area around and inside the castle will be filled with floral arrangements by masters florists. In addition, there will be competitions and games for children and adults, lectures, workshops and visits around the castle’s interior – the list of attractions is long. There are also delicious food stands, handicrafts and regional products showcased around the festival grounds.

Temps de Flors, Girona

Prefer a short vacation in May? Try a city break in Spain, more specifically in Girona. The city is certainly well known to fans of “Game of Thrones”, although this time we can enjoy a more colourful (and less bloodthirsty!) version. Girona will host Spain’s most popular flower festival for the 68th time in 2023 and, for a few days, the quiet town turns into a vibrant, colourful meadow. Flowers decorate monuments, streets, shop windows, and even residents’ courtyards and balconies.

Decorations in Gerona for flower festival © iStock
Decorations in Gerona for flower festival © iStock

This year’s festival takes place between May 13-21, with the most popular flower arrangements to be seen near the cathedral and the stairs leading to it. During your visit, it is also worth going to the 12th century Arab baths, the Basilica of Sant Feliu and its surroundings, and the red Eiffel Bridge. Girona is a city of colourful houses by the Onyar River and the famous Jewish quarter El Call and you can see plenty of flower arrangements as you wander. The festival usually takes place simultaneously with the acapella music festival, so a good atmosphere is guaranteed.

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The most popular flower festivals are a great excuse to travel. See new and interesting cities, taste the local cuisine and, above all, welcome spring in colourful style!


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