The Canadian Tulip Festival is held every year in May in Ottawa, Canada. The festival is probably the world's largest tulip festival, with over one million tulips planted throughout the city in impressively large gardens.
But the tulip gardens also extend all over the National Capital Region, from Ottawa, Ontario to Gatineau, Quebec in public and private gardens.
Large displays of tulips are planted throughout the city. The largest tulip gardens are found in Commissioners Park on the shores of Dow's Lake, along the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, and in Jacques Cartier Park next to the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec.
And this is where I got inspired, at Jacques Cartier Park, to climb up on a rock on a hill overlooking a large tulip garden of pink and white and lavender, to strike a yoga tree pose. A pose of peace and harmony, as are tulips a symbol of peace, harmony, and friendship. Although, I visited the tulip gardens on Mother's Day, May 12 this year with a 40 km/hr wind blowing. It was not easy standing on one leg! But a very powerful feeling with a view like this. Whoa!
How did tulips become so popular and such a tradition in Canada's National Capital Region?
In 1945, the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa to show their gratitude for Canadians having sheltered Princess Juliana and her daughters for three years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, during the Second World War.
In the years that followed this original gift from the Dutch, Ottawa became famous for its tulips and in 1953, the first Canadian Tulip Festival was organized. The tulip festival literally kept growing and growing, with more and more tulips being planted.
The stunning displays of colourful, and massive tulip gardens in the city also inspires residents, who plant their own personal tulip gardens, making the National Capital Region incredibly beautiful in May.
Here's my little tulip garden.