Canadian Tulip Festival
When : 11 - 21 May 2018
Where : Ottawa & Gatineau (Canada)
All it took was a little gift to drive the Canadians crazy - crazy as in nutty, barmy, loony, wild and batty. The madness began in 1945, when the people of Holland presented Ottawa 10,000 tulip bulbs for providing a safe haven for the Dutch Royal Family during World War II. 20,000 more bulbs arrived in 1946, 20,000 in 1947, 20,000 in 1948.......... 20,000 each year and this is the year 2016! That's a whole lot of bulbs! Neck deep in tulips, Ottawa became the Tulip Capital!
Madness multiplies. And how. Ottawa, with millions and millions of tulips, purchases 500,000 fresh bulbs every year. 100 gardeners lovingly nurture the tulips while a tulip barometer monitors the weather, the city holds its breath till springtime when tulips explode and swamp Ottawa and Gatineau in a deluge of flowers. And its time for Tulipmania.
Canadian Tulip Festival was first held in the year 1953 in Ottawa. This year, the festival marks its 60th anniversary with Tulipmania dedicated to Malak Karsh, famous photographer and founding father of the Tulip Festival. The festival celebrates Tulips as a symbol of peace and friendship creating an international bond between the countries such as Netherland, United States, Turkey, France, Australia, Japan and United Kingdom. Tulipmania also has its own 'Order of the Tulip' - awarded to those devoted to tulips above and beyond the call of duty.
PS. The Canadians aren't the only ones driven to extremes by tulips. The Dutch were more seriously affected. Tulipmania sparked a frenetic buying spree in Holland in 1634-1636 with single bulbs being paid for in coaches and horses/acres of land and houses! It took a decree to contain the lunacy! Incidentally, Mother Nature is not responsible for the glorious colours and shapes of tulips; the culprit is a virus! No wonder, then, the madness is infectious.
For more information on Canada Travel Guide