It’s April and, once again, it is time for the Amsterdam Tulip Festival, the world’s largest celebration of the national flower of the Netherlands.
Throughout the month, there will be tulip-related events and everyone will enjoy an added dash of color in their daily lives, thanks to special installations of various varieties planted in beds and pots in no less than 60 locations around the city. For example, an incredible 25,000 bulbs have been planted around the Rijksmuseum and 30,000 around the Maritime museum. In total, 800,000 bulbs have been planted around the city, intended to represent one tulip for every person living within the capital, so, if you ever wanted to steal some flowers, with little or no chance of getting caught, this would be your chance.
This is only the second Amsterdam Tulip Festival, but the organizers are hoping that it can become an annual event. Tulips have a long and complex history within the Netherlands including, famously, being the focus of an asset bubble between 1634 and 1637, known as “Tulip Mania”, during which individual bulbs were changing hands for more than the price of a house, before the market crashed spectacularly with repercussions for the entire Dutch economy.
Today, tulip cultivation remains a major industry in the Netherlands, and global demand is growing, but they are facing increasing competition from growers in Kenya, Colombia and even the United States.