The Netherlands Nationale Tulpendag or National Tulip Day will be celebrated on 19 January 2019, to officially inaugurate the start of tulip season in the Netherlands. Tulip is Holland’s trademark flower, and the tulip season will last from January to April, when many varieties of tulip will bloom and be ready to be sold or auctioned in florist, supermarkets, and flower stands. The National Tulip Day itself has been celebrated since 2012.
The theme for 2019 is Het is weer tijd voor Tulpen! or It’s Time for Tulips!
Tulip flowers are usually large, showy and brightly colored, generally red, pink, yellow, or white (usually in warm colors). The name “tulip” is thought to be derived from a Persian word for turban, which it may have been thought to resemble. Tulips originally were found in a band stretching from Southern Europe to Central Asia, but since the seventeenth century have become widely naturalized and cultivated. Flowering in the spring, they become dormant in the summer once the flowers and leaves die back, emerging above ground as a shoot from the underground bulb in early spring.
While tulips had probably been cultivated in Asia from the tenth century, they did not come to the attention of the West until the sixteenth century, when Western diplomats to the Ottoman court observed and reported on them. They were rapidly introduced into Europe and became a frenzied commodity during Tulip mania, a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for some bulbs of the recently introduced and fashionable tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then dramatically collapsed in February 1637. Tulips were frequently depicted in Dutch Golden Age paintings, and have become associated with the Netherlands, the major producer for world markets, ever since.
The National Tulip Day will be held in Dam Square, Amsterdam, where the town square will be covered by around 200,000 colorful tulips. In the morning visitors could marvel at the view from a gangway, and in the afternoon they could even pick the tulips for free!
If you are in Amsterdam during the celebration, make sure to head to Dam Square. Bring your best camera with you, and be prepared to be surrounded by thousands of people who will also join the celebration! Spare some time to visit the surrounding flower markets for a chance to buy tulip bulbs that you could grow at your own home!
What about you? Tell us your favorite National Tulip Day activity, or share your most memorable National Tulip Day!