Notice

To better manage the crowds for the safe movement of all visitors, the use of tripods for photo-taking at the main Flower Field in Flower Dome is not allowed on Saturdays and Sundays. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.

Tulipmania: Its Wild Origins Floral Display

Tulipmania, one of Gardens by the Bay's most popular floral displays which had to be put on hold due to the pandemic, is finally back after a two-year hiatus since its last edition in 2019. This year, the display traces the origin of the tulip as a rare wildflower in the wilderness of Central Asia. Follow in the footsteps of Kazakh nomads on migration through the Central Asian steppes, and discover the cultural heritage and architecture of Kazakhstan, where annual tulip festivals celebrate the ephemeral beauty of wild tulips. Amidst the colourful tulips on display, a traditional yurt handmade by Kazakh craftsmen beckons, revealing a cosy interior filled with felt textiles, furnishings, and a crackling fire.


Tulipmania
Opening Hours

Thu, 7 Oct 2021 - Sun, 14 Nov 2021

9:00am - 9:00pm

Admission Ticket Prices

Admission charge to Flower Dome applies

Location

Flower Dome

Catch Tulipmania online!

You can also watch videos of the floral display from the comfort of your homes! Do follow us on our Facebook page to stay updated!

Join Mihkaail, designer for this year Tulipmania as he shares his favourite blooms with you!

State of bloom as of 10 Oct 2021.

Go on a 'Tulip Holiday' with us to Kazakhstan at Tulipmania 2021
Join us as we bring you on a 'tulip holiday' to Kazakhstan 😉 Discover its cultural heritage and architecture, and trace the origin of the tulip as a rare wildflower in the wilderness of Central Asia!


Tulipmania highlights: Of cultural heritage and humble origins

Follow in the footsteps of Kazakh nomadic tribes on migration through the vast Central Asian steppes, home to the wild tulips from which cultivated tulips have been bred. 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.

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.


History of Tulips: Turkish Heritage

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Meadow of wild tulips in Aksu-Jabagly natural reserve in Alatau mountains (L), and Wild Albert's tulip in Betpak-Dala desert in Central Asia, Kazakhstan (R).

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.

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A prayer rug featuring wild tulips

Tulips became so popular and played such an important role that the period spanning 1703 to 1730 has been labelled the “Tulip Era”. One could find tulips in the flower markets, on silk and textiles, and they were even praised in poetry and used as motifs in paintings.


History of Tulips: Arrival in the Netherlands

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Carolus Clusius statue in Keukenhof, Lisse, Netherlands

1594 is known as the official year of the tulip’s first flowering in the Netherlands. 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.

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Examples of the variegated colours produced by the mosaic virus

Botanists started to hybridise the flower and soon found ways of creating more decorative and attractive specimens. Hybrids and mutations were seen as rarities and symbols of high status, and people were prepared to pay extraordinary sums of money, selling land, houses and valuable objects to invest in tulip bulbs. This “Tulipmania”, however, did not last long. The speculative market eventually crashed in 1637, and the trade of tulips ground to a halt. 

It was only later in the 20th century that it was discovered that the frilly petals and dramatic flamed patterns that were so sought after in tulips were in fact the symptoms of an infection by the mosaic virus! Today, tulips displaying such patterns are the result of breeding, not viral infection.


Wild Tulips

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Wild tulips in the foothills of Tien Shan, Kazakhstan

Wild tulip species carpet the harsh mountainous steppes of the northern hemisphere in springtime between March and June. These flowers that represent peace, tranquillity and renewal to the nomads are distributed across the mountains of Central Asia where they travel. The foothills of Tien Shan, located in the territory of modern Kazakhstan, is considered to be the place where tulips appeared for the first time.

Click on the gallery photos to know more about wild tulips.


Timurid Architecture in Central Asia

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Timurid architecture 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.


Kazakh Yurt

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A Kazakh yurt is a traditional, simple and practical portable dwelling of nomadic Kazakhs that can be easily assembled, providing a safe and comfortable space. Yurts are made from natural and renewable raw materials, designed to be transported by pack animals. 

The lattice work that forms the wall of the yurt is known as kerege. The kerege is connected by the yuk, poles that form a dome-like structure, which supports the shanyrak, an element that lets in light into the interior of the yurt.


Significance of the Kazakh Yurt

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Interior of a ceremonial Kazakh yurt

The Kazakh 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.


Nomadic lifestyle

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The territory of Kazakhstan has historically been inhabited by nomadic tribes that roamed the vast Kazakh steppes. These tribes originally moved throughout Central Asia, Russia, China and Mongolia.

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The Kazakhs were traditionally pastoral nomads, who relied heavily on their animals for transportation, clothing, and food. They migrated seasonally to find water and rich pastures for their livestock, which included camels, horses, sheep, goats, and cattle.


Silk Road Bazaars

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Throughout the Silk Road, marketplaces and bazaars were places to trade goods and information as well as for people to gather and share news. As merchants travelled across the expansive steppes, caravanserais were built to provide rest stops, and these eventually turned into marketplaces for the trade of goods and services.

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Spices were valuable additions to cuisine and often changed hands hundreds of times before they reached their final destination in the cooking pot.

Dried fruits, nuts and other sundries were convenient supplies in the days before refrigeration, and are still popular in Kazakhstan and Central Asia till this day.


Oriental Carpets and Rugs

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Knotted-pile carpets contain raised surfaces called pile from the cut-off ends of knots woven between a longitudinal warp and transverse weft using a loom. Oriental carpets and rugs are heavy textiles made for a variety of utilitarian and symbolic purposes. These textiles are woven in countries in the ‘rug belt’, stretching from Morocco in North Africa to Western China in the east, and include Kazakhstan.

Traditional dyes used for oriental carpets are obtained from natural materials including plants. Natural dyes provide long-lasting colours, allowing the carpets to be handed down generation after generation.

Throughout history, people from different cultures, countries, ethnicities, and religions have been involved in the production of carpets and rugs. 


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In partnership with the Embassy of Kazakhstan in Singapore