January 15 - Day of the Tulip. Christmas and New Year’s are over with, are you ready for spring? In the middle of January, a dreary and dark month in Sweden, it’s time to celebrate one of our favorite symbols of spring: The tulip.
January 15 is Sweden’s national Day of the Tulip. During the tulip season over one million tulips are sold in Sweden every single day. That makes us the most tulip-loving and buying people in the world. The Finns come in second place, and the Danes on third. So the tulip is a beloved flower in Scandinavia for sure.
Nine out of ten tulips sold are grown in Sweden, even though the bulbs themselves come from Holland. Colorwise, Swedes want red tulips for Christmas, white or purple for New Year’s, and yellow or purple for Easter.

A big bunch of tulips is beautiful, but just as elegant is one long-stemmed red, so-called French tulip in a thin glass tube. Today tulips are often associated with the Netherlands, but the commercial cultivation of the flower began in early Persia probably somewhere in the 10th century. Although it is unknown who first brought the tulip to Northwestern Europe, the most widely accepted story is that it was Oghier Ghislain de Busbecq, an ambassador for Emperor Ferdinand I to Suleyman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire, in the Sublime Porte.
He remarked in a letter that he saw "an abundance of flowers everywhere; Narcissus, hyacinths and those in Turkish called Lale, much to our astonishment because it was almost midwinter, a season unfriendly to flowers."

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