Sweden‘s National Tulip Day is meant to brighten up the dark and sometimes dreary winter with some hope – and colour – for spring. And while the day itself may fall on January 15th, it sometimes seems like it’s the month of the tulip because come January 2nd, every flower shop and grocery store is filled with tulips for sale. Forget spring, Swedes need some colour in their lives almost before the Christmas decorations come down! Read on to find out more about this special day.
Did you know that Sweden is the most tulip buying (and loving) nation in the world. More than one million tulips are sold in Sweden on January 15th alone, but that doesn’t account for the millions more sold both before and after the National Day. In fact, it’s estimated that more than one million tulips are sold each day between January and Easter.
Nine out of ten tulips sold in Sweden are grown domestically, and although the bulbs are imported from Holland, more than 400 varieties are grown in Swedish greenhouses. While on January 15th it doesn’t matter what colour you buy, at Christmas it’s red, then purple for New Year’s Day, and yellow or white for Easter.
Tulip Day has been celebrated for over 20 years in Sweden so it is a relatively new Swedish tradition. The reason we celebrate Tulip Day in Sweden is to welcome spring. And we celebrate Tulip Day by buying tulips for others or ourselves. In fact, in some cities, student florists even hand out tulips to folks who pass them by on this day, which puts smiles on the faces of the Swedes, who are desperately waiting for the sun to shine once again.