Heydar’s Birthday

A.K.A., Flower Day!

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The day when the city streets shut down for an elaborate, floral memorial to Azerbaijan’s deceased former President.  Heydar Aliyev died in 2003 but every year they celebrate his birthday as if he were turning another year older.  Not sure if that is honorable, or a little strange?  Here is a huge-scale likeness of him, made entirely of flowers:

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We entered Heydar Aliyev Park through this temporarily fabricated fortress:

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Looking back, the crowd stretched forever!

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The path through the park took us through a tunnel made entirely of blue and purple flowers; even the ceiling overhead was dripping with hanging baskets:

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I am not enough of a flower person to be able to tell you what they all were, but I recognized the orchids and the hydrangeas.  The number 9 million kept coming up.  Was that the cost or the number of flowers?  Either way, it was a lot!

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Eli and Jake liked the topiaries:

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Mommy liked the little girls dressed like flowers:

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Mike got some great shots of faces in the crowd:

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It was very crowded, with scents in the air alternating from body odor to roses depending on which way the wind was blowing.  Still, totally worth it to see this!

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Congratulations, Aliyev Family!  Your country honors you still!

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