This October, the popular Gardens by the Bay floral display, Tulipmania 2021, returns with a new twist, and goes back to its wild origins.
Venue: Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Drive, Singapore 018953
Date: 7 Oct to 14 Nov 2021
Time: 9 am to 9 pm
Fee: Adult: $12; Child $8
Tulipmania 2021 is happening! This popular floral display at Gardens by the Bay is back after 2 years and will trace the origin of the tulip as a rare wildflower from Central Asia to its place around the world today.
Relish the crisp, fresh air of springtime as you stroll along Tulipmania, made possible at this time of the year with tulips from New Zealand!
A Wild Origins Floral Display
Photo Credits: Gardens by the Bay
Originally a wild flower growing in Central Asia, tulips were brought to Turkey by nomadic tribes, and first cultivated by the Turks as early as 1000 A.D. In the 16th century, at the time of the Ottoman Empire, a tulip craze struck the elite and the court society, and cultivating the flower became a celebrated practice. The name “tulip” is said to have been derived from the Turkish word for turban, dulbend or tülband, in reference to the shape of the flower and its resemblance to the turbans worn in the Ottoman Empire.
While we often associate the tulip to Netherlands, it is not until 1594 that Carolus Clusius, a Flemish doctor and botanist, brought bulbs with him from Vienna to Leiden University's newly-established Hortus Botanicus, where he was appointed director. This was the start of the bulb fields in the Netherlands that one sees today.
Experience the unique cultural heritage and architecture of Kazakhstan as you trace the tulip’s humble origin as a springtime wildflower in the steppes and mountains of Central Asia to its craze in the Ottoman Empire, prior to its first arrival in the Netherlands.
Greeting visitors to the Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome is a mock-up featuring Timurid architecture. This is a style of architecture in Central Asia that is heavily influenced by Seljuk traditions, often featuring grand scale buildings. It is not uncommon for the exteriors to be decked with intricate blue and turquoise linear and geometric patterned glazed tiles, inspired by Iranian Banna’i technique, which represent the clear sky and water.
Photo Credits: Gardens by the Bay
Amid the blooms at Gardens by the Bay is a traditional yurt - the dwelling of Kazakh nomadic tribes in the steppes of Central Asia - handmade by Kazakh craftsmen using traditional techniques without the use of nails or screws.
The mobile home, made from a lattice work of wood and heavy fabric and designed to be transported by camels or horses, is on loan from the Kazakhstan Embassy.
In Kazakhstan, the yurt is a symbol of family and traditional hospitality, fundamental to the identity of the Kazakh people. All ceremonies, festivities, weddings, and funeral rituals are held in the yurt as the nomads roam the steppes from season to season.
The shanyrak, the top-most element of the yurt that lets in light, is known to symbolize family wellbeing, peace and calmness, and is extremely valuable to the Kazakhs. It is also represented on the national emblem of Kazakhstan.
"Silk Road" Bazaar
Photo Credit: The Straits Times
The floral display also includes a bazaar that shows Kazakhstan's role as a trading hub along the Silk Road, the land trade route that connected China to Europe in ancient times. Some of the displays of the goods include wool carpets, precious stones, and luxurious textiles.
Tulipmania 2021 will run from 7 Oct to 14 Nov 2021, 9 am to 9 pm at the Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay. Admission charges to the Flower Dome apply and is priced from $12 for adults and $8 for child for access to the Flower Dome only.
Tulipmania 2021 at Gardens by the Bay is presented in partnership with the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Singapore.