Flower Bulb Day: San Francisco’s new tradion of celebrating Women’s Day

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Ritika Ghosh

The Tulip event was a success in San Fransisco, as it was met with a large crowd during Women’s Day

On March 4, 2023, San Francisco held its annual Flower Bulb Day in honor of National Women’s day. Pink, orange, and yellow flooded Union Square as residents and tourists got to pick from a display of 80,000 tulip bulbs.

“I thought it would be something fun to do with my friends and we were going dress shopping; so since we were in SF, we were like oh maybe we should just go to the tulip festival because it flowers, ” said Janet Xing (‘23)

Originally popularized in Amsterdam, the event was organized by Royal Anthos, a trade association for flower bulbs and nursery stock. San Fransicso’s version of this event featured 80,000 tulips while Amsterdam’s features 200,000. 

“I heard about the event through Tiktok- and last year I saw it on TikTok as well. People were posting like ‘oh I went to the flower festival’ but at the time it had already passed so I knew I wanted to go this year” said Xing.

Why tulips? 

According to Royal Anthos representative Henk Westerhoff, tulips symbolize unconditional love, new beginnings, and charity. The festival’s goal is to reach more women and bring the tradition of celebrating Women’s day in America, the way it is elaborately celebrated in Europe.

“I first heard about the event from my friend. Before that, I had no idea that there was something like this. I did some research, out of curiosity, and I found out how prominent events like these are to really show our community and society cares and supports women” said Jimin Han (‘23). 

The Event 

Despite large crowds and rainy weather, thousands showed up to get free tulips. Royal Anthos anticipated a crowd of about 8,000 with 10 tulips per person, hence the 80,000 tulips, however, their prediction was off. 

“It was way too crowded. We had lined up pretty early, about an hour and a half before when the start time was set- around 11:30. We lined up before many people, but we were still towards the end” said Xing 

The tulips were grown in America, but the bulbs came from Europe. Visitors had a choice of pink, red, yellow, and white tulips, with the bulbs. More than just the tulips, crowds flocked in solidarity and celebration of women, going to collect flowers for themselves and for other women in their life. 

“You go for the experience mostly, so you can go and wait in line for however long for free tulips, or you can just go to trader joes and get flowers. I think the tulips just made me happy in the movement because I had them. I gave them to my mom and she planted them” said Xing

Those who came to see the display were rewarded with their very own bag of plantable tulips. Though the flowers are a new tradition to the Bay Area, there are many other ways to celebrate Women’s history month. 

“Tell the women in your life you love them and stuff like that and just doing small things is nice. You don’t have to have to bring them tulips- Flowers aren’t the only way you can appreciate people,” said Sydney Pruss (‘23)