Monday, May 30, 2016

Ottawa Tulip Festival

I recently spent a little time in Ottawa at the city's annual Tulip Festival.

The story goes that in 1945, the Dutch royal family fled Holland, which was overrun by the Nazis. They found safe heaven in Canada, and every year the Tulip festival in Ottawa commemorates this long lasting friendship between the two nations.

Interestingly, while in exile in Canada, Princess Juliana gave birth to a daughter, Princess Margriet. To mark the new princess’ birth, the Dutch flag was flown at the top of the Peace Tower. This is the only time a foreign flag has flown over Canada’s Parliament Buildings. Canada also temporarily declared the hospital she was born in as extraterritorial.

The Canadian Tulip Festival is also a celebration of the return of spring, with over a million tulips in 50 varieties blooming in public spaces across the National Capital Region. The highest concentration of tulips can be viewed in the flower beds of Commissioners Park, on the banks of Dows Lake, where 300,000 flowers bloom. The National Capital Commission (NCC) manages more than 100 tulip beds at 30 different sites.

You can experience the festival at various sites throughout the city. It's the largest of its kind in the city, attracting over 600,000 visitors (Source: Ottawa Tourism).

Of course, if you want to get all Bollywoodish about it, you can watch the video of the song Dekha Ek Khwab from the movie Silsila to get you all into a Tulip mood before you visit this festival! One not to be missed, and Ottawa has plenty to do in the summer besides tulips.


Salma Dinani said...

Interesting story and beautiful flowers!

Nusrat said...

I love tulips. There is a small Tulip farm in Texas I checked out earlier this year but it was not nearly as diverse as the flowers you have pictured. Definitely makes me want to run through them enacting scenes from Silsila!