The flowering of tulips, known for their beauty and elegance, heralds the arrival of spring every year. These flowers have a special place in the minds of the Turks and Kashmiris. While associated with the charm and worship of Kashmir, there is even a time of Turkish history known as the "Tulip Season". With all its charm and splendor, tulips have inevitably become an integral part of Turkish and Kashmir culture. For example, tulip motifs are widely used by Turkish artists to decorate a variety of items, from carpets to clothing, calligraphy and illuminated manuscripts. In addition, both Turkey and Kashmir hold annual tulip festivals. Those who are known for their calm beauty, or simply "paradise on earth," feel forced to visit and stay in Kashmir. Its beautiful scenery, freshwater lakes, and pristine mountains protect the valley. In this natural beauty, Kashmir is home to Asia's largest tulip garden, which covers 299,467 square meters of land. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden opened in 2007 and Kashmir has held an annual tulip festival ever since. The festival is enthusiastically celebrated each year at the foot of The Bar One Hills, almost next to the famous Dal Lake. Kashmir tulip bulbs were imported from the Netherlands.
However, wild tulips have been found locally in different parts of Kashmir and in the grasslands of Asia. The Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden has about 64 types of tulips. In addition to tulips, a total of 43 kinds of flowers such as hyacinths, ranunculus, and daffodils were planted in the garden. The beginning of spring with large tulip flowers coincided with the deadly COVID 19 pandemic this year. Nonetheless, a six-day tulip festival was enthusiastically held in Kashmir from April 3rd to 9th, with music concerts and cultural performances. Local Kashmir crafts were also exhibited at the event, providing visitors with regular regional cuisine.
The main motivation for the Tulip Festival is not only to attract local and foreign visitors, but also to introduce them to their rich traditional and cultural values and to introduce Kashmir's rich traditional clothing. Since 2015, Turkey has been hosting the Tulip Festival in Istanbul throughout April. That year, millions of tulips were planted in Istanbul as part of the "Tulip Comeback Home" project. This project later paved the way for the annual Tulip Festival. With the motto "Istanbul meets tulips", this festival, which revitalizes the cultural life of big cities, occupies a special place of Turkish culture. However, the event also has historical significance, as the flower is actually native to Anatolia and is considered a national symbol. Tulips bloom in different parts of Istanbul during the festival. In addition, the world's first tulip carpet will be unfolded on the famous Sultan Ahmet Square, with spectacular views of the famous Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Turkish bands provide visitors with a good time, but marble artists also perform during the festival, exhibiting works of art with tulip motifs in particular. Even the women's tennis tournament, called the Tulip Cup, was previously held in town. However, this year's edition didn't look pretty good because of the virus.
Istanbul is also home to the world's largest tulip museum, which opened in 2015 to spread the cultural value of this flower and introduce it to future generations. The museum is located in Emilgan Grove and aims to highlight the location of flowers in Turkish culture. Visitors to the museum can see tools such as plows for planting tulips and colanders for cleaning tulips, but also handicrafts such as sultan kaftan and tulip-themed handkerchiefs. .. Tulips were brought to Europe from Turkish countries during the Ottoman Empire. The first country that comes to mind when considering tulips and their exports is the Netherlands, but in the 17th century Dutch sellers became popular, and then tulips expanded into the West and became part of the culture. Great tulip festivals are also held in countries such as Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom. On the contrary, tulips are widely considered to be the pioneers of brightly colored springs that convey the message of nature's love everywhere from Turkey to Kashmir, causing tulip-related events around the world.
Seasons of Tulips
In April, you can find these magnificent spring flowers all over Istanbul. But for real tulip fun and the International Istanbul Tulip Festival, you have to go to Emilgan Park. It is one of the largest parks in Istanbul and has several tulip gardens. Emirgan Park is located in Sarıyer’s Bosphorus Strait, just behind the second Bosphorus Strait. The park is open daily from 7 am to 10:30 pm. You can reach Emirgan Park from Kabatas by bus 25E.
April may not rain as much as May or June, but temperatures are usually moderate. This is a great opportunity to visit Istanbul! The tulip is one of the traditional symbols of Istanbul. It was brought into the city from Iran centuries ago and was a favorite and cultivated here until tulips became tulip enthusiasts. In the so-called Tulip period of Ottoman history, rare varieties of tulips could be sold for incredible prices. tulips traveled from Istanbul to Europe, especially the Dutch Republic (Netherlands). There, similar tulip enthusiasts quickly devoured the imagination and bank accounts of Dutch tulip lovers.
However, the Istanbul Tulip Festival is not limited to tulips. Other flowers (pansies, blowflies, etc.) are planted in a variety of shapes and colors. The display is stunning. Many tulips can be found not only in old Istanbul, especially around the tourist center of Sultan Ahmet, but also throughout the city, including the banks of the Bosphorus. A trip to Emirgan Park (Emirgan Kors), the best-known tulip, is worth it. Come to Istanbul in April and enjoy the Tulip Festival. Not to mention the thousands of other things that make this city the most attractive to me in the world.
Follow the roots of this favorite flower in Turkish culture, history and literature as millions of tulips bloom in Istanbul’s parks during the Tulip Festival.
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