Mexican balloon festival sees world’s largest floral carpet

The ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacán hosted its second annual hot air balloon festival earlier this month, and this year was made particularly special by the addition of a massive floral carpet.

Covering an area of 17,805 square metres, the huge floral carpet edged out the previous record of 16,134 square metres, which was set in Saudi Arabia last year, to earn it a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

The floral carpet was made by arranging thousands of poinsettias in a design that represented the nearby Pyramid of the Sun, which is one of the largest pyramids in Mesoamerica. The poinsettia, which is known for its striking red and green foliage and often used in Christmas displays, is indigenous to Mexico. The plant is named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, who was the first United States Minister to Mexico. He brought the plant to the United States in 1825.

Of course, such a huge spectacle is hard to appreciate from the ground, but fortunately, the event was timed to coincide with the city’s annual hot air balloon festival. Some 50 hot air balloons were there to give spectators an overhead view of the floral display, as well as stunning views of Teotihuacán and its impressive pyramids.

Teotihuacán is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Mexico’s most visited archaeological site. It is believed to date back over 2,000 years. At its peak, it was perhaps the sixth largest city in the world with a population of 125,000 people.

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