Celebrate rebirth, purity and life with the bloom of the Lotus flowers at Echo Park! The flowers, which are significant in many Asian cultures, bloom every July in Los Angeles. Each year, the community puts together a festival to celebrate the flower and all that it signifies. Below, we have listed everything you need to know about this cultural festival that takes place on July 14 and 15.


What does the Lotus Flower Represent? 

The lotus flower is an old and significant symbol in many religions, especially Hinduism and Buddhism. Though each religion brings slight variations to the meaning of the lotus flower the general concept is the same. The meaning of the lotus flower comes from the way the flower grows in nature. It starts off as a bud underwater, often in murky ponds, and grows until it emerges from the muddy waters in a beautiful blooming flower.


Just like the Lotus, all humans are born into a world of suffering where they must learn to overcome difficult times so that they can become a better person. The muddy waters represent the struggles of life, the bud of the flower represent a person that has not yet reached their full potential, and the blossoming lotus flower above the water represents someone who has achieved nirvana and let go of worldly suffering.


Why Echo Park Lake?

When choosing where to host a Lotus Festival in Los Angeles Echo Park Lake was a no brainer. Not only is Echo Park Lake a central location of local Asian and Pacific Islander communities, but because it also hosts the largest lotus bed in the United States. 


Though the Lotus blooming depends on external forces such as weather and temperature, the hope is that the entire bed of Lotus flowers will be in full boom! 


What should you expect at the festival? 

Each year, the festival includes a host of amazing asian cuisine, live music, dragon boat races, ethnic dances, and a variety of performers representing the people and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The event takes place on July 14 and 15 from 12:00 noon through 9:00pm, so there is ample time to experience this festival with the entire family. 


This year marks the 39th festival, and pays homage to the Thai community.