Zhongshan Park Tulip Festival - Beijing - 2019
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Beijing Shi China
Peaceful park becomes awash with the color of tulip blossoms.
It boasts over 30 varieties of tulips with over 300,000 tulips. Each year it attracts thousands of visitors.
For two decades, Beijing’s Zhongshan Park has hosted its annual Tulip Festival. It not only presents a dazzling array of more than a hundred varieties, but also serves as a testament to Chinese-Dutch friendship.
Just west of one of Beijing’s most visited tourist sites is a park often overlooked by visitors. But come April, it takes center stage with the Tulip Festival.
Zhang LiXia, senior landscaper at Zhongshan Park, explains the theme of this year’s festival.
The park’s three hundred thousand Tulip bulbs have all bloomed, and it’s a spectacular sight. We want our visitors to get a sense of springtime, with the various flowers, butterflies, and bees,” Zhang said.
Today’s rather windy April day has not deterred tourists and locals, who are busy taking snapshots of the flowers. It’s a perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon with family and friends.
Adjacent to the Forbidden City, Zhongshan Park was a sacred ground of prayer almost 600 years ago during the Ming Dynasty. Emperors at the time offered sacrifices to the God of Land and to the God of Grain every Second and Eighth month of the Lunar calendar.
So where do the tulips come in? They arrived in 1977, when China and Holland created diplomatic ties. Tulips are the national flower of Holland. Similar to how China donates its Giant Pandas as a sign of friendship, Princess Beatrix of Holland gave the Tulips to Zhongshan Park as a gift to China.
More tulips were added in 1996, marking the year the Tulip Festival began. Every year since then, Zhongshan Park has received 300,000 bulbs from Holland for planting, which begins in late Fall.
It’s a photographer’s dream – with more than a hundred varieties meticulously arranged against a backdrop of thousand-year-old Cypress trees. This man is practicing with his new toy, and delighting in the vista.
The Tulip Festival runs from mid-April to mid-May, but the best time to see the Tulips is from mid-April to the end of the month.
When to visit: Mid-April to Mid-May
Hours: Daily 6am-8pm