The tulip has come to be a loved symbol of the Netherlands. Many tourists visit the country just to see the bright coloured flower and the astonishing view over the bulb fields. The season begins in March with crocuses, followed by the daffodil and the yellow narcissi. In April the hyacinths and tulips blosssom to some time in mid May, depending on the weather. Later, in August it is time for the gladioli. Even when spring is over, the Netherlands is still a garden, visitors can enjoy flowers in the Netherlands all year round.
From April to September fantastic flower parades are held throughout the country. The Bollenstreek Flower Parade is the biggest parade and is held at the end of April every year. The origin of the parade dates 50 years back in time when initiators of various small parades in the villages of the Bollenstreek decided to go together and organize one big parade. Floats with 1.5 million of different flowers are created by enthusiastic volunteers who are working on this for months. Popular flowers for these floats are daffodils and hyacinths, but in some parts of the country, only dahlias are beeing used. The Bloemencorso Valkenswaard is a smaller parade which also includes folk dancing and street theatre.
The Kerstflora (X-mas Flora) Show is held every year in December, a five day show of house plants and flowers grown under glass. In Lisse, the Museum De Zwarte Tulp or The Balck Tulip, have a extensive collection of historical material on the flower. This includes information about the cultivation and the evolution, drawings, photographs, tools and a look into the bulb trading companies.