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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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Kentucky Derby, kyderby, mint julep, current event, photo feature,

Instagrammers Capture the Kentucky Derby

For more photos and videos from the Derby, follow @kentuckyderby on Instagram and explore the location page for the home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs. You can also browse the #kentuckyderby hashtag.

The 140th annual Kentucky Derby takes place Saturday afternoon in Louisville, Kentucky. This thoroughbred horse race, which spans two kilometers (one and a quarter miles), is known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” as a result of its extremely short duration.

Landon Nordeman (@landonnordeman), a photographer returning to the Derby this year to capture it for the second time, shares his enthusiasm for the event: “I love to shoot the Derby because it is the only American sporting event where fans get truly dressed up,” he explains, referring to the elaborate attire—and hats—that fans wear. “Plus,” he adds, “it has its own cocktail: the mint julep.”

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Coachella, coachella2014, current events, music, photo feature,

Instagrammers Capture Coachella

For more photos and videos from the festival, follow @coachella and @coachellaastronaut on Instagram and explore Coachella’s location pages: Coachella, Main Stage and Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival. You can also browse the #coachella hashtag.

Last weekend and again next weekend, music fans head to Indio, California, for the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (@coachella). There, against a backdrop of desert sunsets and an iconic ferris wheel, up-and-coming performers and established acts alike will take the stage. To see Coachella from the perspective of the performers, follow these artists on Instagram:

This year’s festival will also feature the Coachella Astronaut (@coachellaastronaut), a roaming art installation created for Coachella by Poetic Kinetics (@poetickinetics), a group of artists based in Los Angeles.

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hashtag highlight, april fools' day, photo feature,

Hashtag Highlight: #aprilfools on Instagram

To view more photos and videos from April Fools’ Day around the world, explore the #aprilfools, #aprilfoolsday, #aprilscherz and #poissondavril on Instagram.

Every year on April 1, people around the world celebrate April Fools’ Day. Though exact origins are unclear, the unofficial holiday has been popular since medieval times. Some Instagrammers celebrated the day by playing especially visual practical jokes on one other.

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promposal, hashtag highlight, photo feature,

Hashtag Highlight: #promposals on Instagram

To view more proposal photos and videos, explore the #promposal on Instagram.

Prom season is officially underway in the United States. Prom, short for “promenade,” is a high school dance typically held at the end of a student’s senior year.

Elaborate, creative or funny “promposals”—asking someone to the dance—can reach mythic status, and students have been sharing some of their proposal experiences on Instagram.

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user feature, location feature, photo feature, flatiron building,

Capturing New York’s Iconic Flatiron Building with @kat_in_nyc

To view more photos and videos of the Flatiron Building, explore the Flatiron Building location page and follow @kat_in_nyc.

The Flatiron Building in Manhattan has been a favorite subject for photographers since its construction in 1902. Native New Yorkers and visiting Instagrammers alike flock to the building to shoot its iconic wedge-shape. New York photographer Kat Irlin (@kat_in_nyc) has a passion for photographing the Flatiron. “It is photogenic in any weather but looks best in cloudy weather and during sunset. I think it’s a must-see for anyone visiting NYC,” she says.

To get a great shot of the Flatiron, Kat offers a few tips: “You’ll need to cross the intersection right in front of the Flatiron to get far enough away to capture it in its full beauty. I try to look for interesting ‘accents’ around it—there are usually pretty flowers, fixtures and even puddles for #puddlegrams around the building depending on the season. There is a very pretty park across the street, and the Flatiron looks stunning when peeking through the trees. Lastly, to get a minimalist shot, aim at the very top of the building and have the sky take up most of the space.”

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Murmuration, starlings, video highlight, photo feature,

Murmuration in Motion

To view more photos and videos from the extraordinary sight of birds flying as one, browse the #murmuration and #starlings hashtags.

Murmuration, the synchronized flight of starlings, is one of nature’s most extraordinary sights. Many thousands of the birds take to the skies in one huge flock and perform aerial maneuvers before choosing a place to roost for the night. While the phenomenon occurs around the world, it’s most commonly witnessed at dusk throughout Europe between November and February.

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Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe, current event, photo feature,

Mexico Celebrates Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe (Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe)

To see more photos from the Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, visit the Basílica de Santa María de Guadalupe location page.

Today Mexico celebrates one of its most important holidays, Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe (Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe).

According to Roman Catholics, an apparition of the Virgin Mary appeared to a peasant named Juan Diego on 12 December, 1531, and instructed him to build a church in her honor. When Juan was asked by a local Archbishop to prove his miraculous vision was real, Mary told him to gather roses from a barren hill. Upon presenting the roses to the Archbishop, the flowers turned into a piece of fabric emblazoned with the Virgin Mary’s image. The icon hangs today in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and is the most visited Marian shrine in the world.

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Hitachi Seaside Park, Japan, photo feature,

A Visit to Hitachi Seaside Park

To see photos and videos of Hitachi Seaside Park’s changing colors, be sure to visit the みはらしの丘, 国営ひたち海浜公園 and Hitachinaka Seaside Park location pages and browse back in time.

At Hitachi Seaside Park (国営ひたち海浜公園) in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan, the flowers tell time. Each season a different variety of flower blossoms, soaking the Miharashi No Oka hill in color. Visitors in spring encounter a bright blue hill of 4.5 million nemophilas. In fall, the 36,000 kochia plants, a type of large herb that grows in brushes clustered on the hill, make the transition from electric green to dark crimson clumps. Soon, pink, white and red cosmo flowers will come into bloom. Depending on the season you visit, you can even get a blue, red, or pink-and-white ice cream cone to match the color of the hill!

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Día de Muertos, mexico, current events, photo feature,

Mexico Celebrates Día de Muertos

To view photos and videos from those celebrations, visit the Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico and Oaxaca, Mexico location pages or browse the #DíadeMuertos hashtag.

Every year from October 31 to November 2, Mexicans celebrate Día de Muertos or the Day of the Dead. Friends and family gather to remember, celebrate and pray for their loved ones who have passed. Celebrants build altars called ofrendas for the deceased using calaveras (sugar skulls), marigolds and the favorite foods, beverages and possessions of the departed. The streets near cemeteries are also filled with parades and decorations.

Though first observed in Mexico, today Día de Muertos is observed around the world, and Instagrammers are there capturing the celebrations.

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berlin, festival of lights, current events, photo feature,

Berlin Festival of Lights 2013

For more dazzling photos and videos from the Festival of Lights, Potsdamer Platz, Brandenburger Tor, Berliner Dom, and Fernsehturm | Berlin TV Tower or browse the #festivaloflights hashtag.

The annual Festival of Lights took place this month in Germany’s capital, Berlin.

Since its beginnings in 2004, the event now draws lighting artists from across the world to illuminate the city’s most famous landmarks in a colorful palette of visual displays. Instagrammers in Berlin have been capturing the playful effect the light installations create on the cityscape, and showcasing the festival to the rest of the world. The event officially wraps up today.