Calling all flower fanatics and aficionados, The 62nd Tesselaar Tulip Festival is here again!
So what exactly does one do at a tulip festival? Well, let me tell you.
Approaching the gates of the festival I was immediately transported to another world. The whimsical music of the Findlay Fairground Organ was flowing through the speakers conjuring images of childhood carnivals and distant fairgrounds. On entry you're immediately immersed in market stalls selling tulip paraphernalia and handmade goods. Out in the distance as far as the eye can see tulips, every colour of the rainbow, every hue you can image.
The tulip festival is not just a beautiful site but it is also culturally immersive. Each weekend has a theme and I was lucky enough to experience the Dutch weekend. Outside the clog shop, that's right, the clog shop, the festival hosts 2 daily live performances of traditional folk dancing. The dance troupe grew up in the Netherlands and now in their senior years teach others about Dutch folklore and culture. Dressed in traditional attire the group tells stories, humorous and loving, through dance moves. The dance moves evoke nostalgic childhood rhymes and the fact they can not only walk but dance is clogs is a sight to be seen in its own right.
After watching all that physical movement my hunger pains kicked in and I was not disappointed with the food on display. Name a food, name any food the festival probably has it. Foods originating from India, Turkey, Italy, Sweden, and many other places. My sweet tooth lead me to the most delicious donuts I have ever tasted. The food stalls are strategically placed around a large stage where live music plays at different times throughout the day.
Once you’re fed to your hearts content you can wander the rows upon rows of tulips. There is something so peaceful and so serene about being surrounded by flowers. Watching them bursting out of their bulbs and blossoming into a beautiful flower, much like a caterpillar transforming to a butterfly. One of the staff informed me that tulips originally came from Turkey and were a shade of brown, and it was the Dutch who painted them all the colours of the rainbow.
Not only are the grounds abundant in tulips of all shapes and sizes there are also other aesthetics adding to the atmosphere. There is an array of sculptures throughout the garden which you can vote for your favourite. There is also a fairy hollow where you can take a photo under the rainbow and visit the gnomes and elves. For those who are too tired to walk you can even catch a scenic train to take you around the full scope of the festival.
The changing of seasons not only brings warmer weather but an array of events to enjoy in the sunshine. The Tesselaar tulip festival is a magical experience that is perfect for any group to experience. Whether you just wander amongst the gardens and soak in the smells and serenity of the grounds or if you want to indulge in cultural treats and live music, then I highly recommend heading to Silvan.
The festival runs from September 10th to October 6th. If you missed it this year, don't fret, the festival will return same time next year.