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In the Kop van Noord-Holland, you will find millions of tulips, hyacinths and other flowers, which transform the landscape into a sea of different hues. Each year, the Tulip Festival is organised in the Noordoostpolder. Held in the middle of the tulip fields, this flower festival runs from late April to early May. Flower markets and gardens abound and, in Aalsmeer near Amsterdam, you will also be able to witness the world’s largest flower auction.

06 Wake up early to catch the action at Aalsmeer Flower Auction. 07 Tulips were once sufficient to purchase a grand canal home. 08 The Amsterdam Tulip Museum is a good place to start with details on “Tulip Mania”.

At the Royal FloraHolland, 90 percent of Dutch flower trade takes place here, where the auction can be viewed from a special gallery. Information panels along the gallery help explain the auction process. From the buzz of activity, you will be in awe at the precision of the system that handles over 20 million flowers and plants at once and the logistical feat. Feel the tension in the auction rooms and watch the auction with dozens of tractors and flower trolleys swarming around. Do visit Keukenhof, where over 7 million flowering bulbs can be admired every year. One of the world’s largest gardens, Keukenhof was once a hunting ground in

08 The Amsterdam Tulip Museum is a good place to start with details on “Tulip Mania” and the flower’s fascinating economic power in the mid-17th Century Dutch Golden Age. The museum, though founded and sponsored by a local bulb company, effectively provides some historical context to the flower’s important history in Dutch culture, such as how bulbs were used as food during various wars, the origin of the flower in Turkey, including detailing modern growing and breeding techniques of the industry. Tulips are serious business in Holland. So embedded is this flower in the Dutch psyche that its people would bring the flowers abroad when they settled, and thus we find tulips and tulip festivals in New York (originally New Amsterdam) and Holland, Michigan today, where the connection to their Dutch roots is very strong.

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2017

43

MUHIBAH January|February 2017  

Royal Brunei inflight magazine

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