Spring has taken root and blossomed at Everland this March as the largest annual tulip festival in Korea opens its doors from March 16 – April 29. Celebrating its 26th anniversary the festival first began in 1992 when Everland was called “Farm Land”. Since its first opening, the festival has hosted 35 million visitors making it one of the most popular spring flower festivals on the peninsula. This year’s festival is 40% larger than last year and will showcase 1.2 million flowers in 110 varieties.
The festival was designed to give Everland’s guests a taste of spring a little earlier than usual. Since most flowers in Korea bloom in April, and many of the country’s flower festivals are concentrated in the southern regions of the peninsula, the park saw an opportunity to bring their visitors a little spring cheer.
Although tulips typically blossom in warmer April weather, Everland has developed expertise in cultivating the flowers allowing them to blossom in mid-March. With a variety of intense colors, and a period of blooming typically longer than domestic flowers, like cherry blossoms, they are the perfect flower for the seasonal festival.
Prepping the Festival
While many associate tulips with Dutch culture, the flowers origins are rooted in Turkey.
The flowers were cultivated in Turkey during the 11th century and even derive their name from the Turkish word Tülbent, meaning ‘turban’.
While many associate tulips with Dutch culture, the flowers origins are rooted in Turkey. The flowers were cultivated in Turkey during the 11th century and even derive their name from the Turkish word Tülbent, meaning ‘turban’.
Tulips are autumn bulbs, meaning that to bloom in the spring, they must be planted during the fall. Only if the bulbs are exposed to the winter chill will they blossom in spring. After importing all the festival tulips from the Netherlands, Everland plants about 40% of its supply in November so that they naturally bloom in the park during April.
The remaining bulbs are distributed to 24 different temperature-controlled greenhouses near the park. Each greenhouse exposes the flowers to low temperatures for different lengths of time to artificially delay their blooming throughout March and into mid-April for the festival.
A Magic Garden
The Four Seasons Garden sets the main stage for the festival as it is transformed into a fairytale town called the Magical Tulip Garden where Everland’s mascot, Lara, lives. The magic garden is divided into six theme zones including Lara’s flower house, a Café, a Zoo, a Garden, and other story-themed zones.
Throughout the Magical Tulip Garden, guests will see a variety of sculptures including a 5-meter tall hot-air balloon, a 3-meter tall flower, and a purple teapot. The sculptures make for perfect backdrops to photos, so visitors can save their memorable moments at the park. Photographers will definitely want to keep their cameras handy in the Magical Tulip Garden as the area is home to an oversized Nikon D5600 DSLR.
The festival will also showcase the Marche aux Fleurs Garden, a European themed flower market located near the front gate. Visitors will find plenty of photo opportunities here in the designated photo zones that feature flower trains, flowerpot fairies and more. On weekends only, visitors can buy tulip flowerpots right from the flower boutique.
This year also sees an increase in outdoor activities during the festival. In the Four Seasons Garden there will be a new performance called “Photo Wonderland”, which will feature 20 character actors in spring-themed costumes such as flowers, bees, and cute bugs, that will pose with guests 3-5 times a day during the duration of the festival.
Lenny’s Fantasy World, a multi-media firework show, is also getting an update for the spring season with entirely new stories, videos, music, and special effects. Guests will have a chance to celebrate global cultures at the Carnival Fantasy Parade that will feature influences from some of the world’s largest carnivals in Brazil, Italy, and the Caribbean. Other outdoor events include a panda musical show called Panda Le Bao’s Adventure, and a nighttime Moonlight Parade.
The Tulip Festival runs every day from March 16 – April 29. For more information about hours of operation and how to visit Everland, visit www.everland.com.