Every May Ottawa becomes a top destination for tourists from all over North America. They all come to see over a million tulips displayed throughout the city.
But do you know why? Where do all these tulips come from and how it started?
During the Second World War, the Dutch Royal family fled to Canada following Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The most notable event, in 1943, Princess Margriet gave birth to Princess Juliana at the Ottawa Civic Hospital. But that created a problem, as person who is born in a foreign country, cannot clam the throne of the Netherlands when the time will come. So Canada declared the maternity ward to be not a part of Canada, but international territory, so the Princess would inherit only her Dutch citizenship.
In 1945, the Royal family sent 100,000 tulips to Ottawa, which are a national flower of the Netherlands, as a gesture of gratitude to Canadians. In 1953, the tulip festival was born and exists to this day. Juliana, who became Queen of the Netherlands in 1948, continued to send a gift of thousands of tulip bulbs to Canada each year.
The festival claims to be the biggest tulip festival in the world, over 1 million of tulips are displayed and over 500,000 people attend it.
The festival includes many events, concerts, etc. But what attracts most people is tulips planted all around the city. It is a really beautiful thing to see so I could not have missed it!
Canadian Tulip Festival official website: http://tulipfestival.ca/