Tulips for volunteers in Shanghai

3 Mar 2020

What better harbinger of winter’s end than spring flowers? From Thursday, 300.000 potted tulips are being sent to people working on the epidemic frontline, enabling them to appreciate the warmth and splendor of a Shanghai spring.

Tulip Festival

The annual tulip festival in Jing’an District is one of the most welcome spring outings for Shanghai residents. More than 10 million tulips have come into flower since 2015, attracting more than 6 million visitors. A true feast for the eyes, there are a total of 1.68 million tulips, all imported from the Netherlands, on display this year. The carpet of vibrant colours now covers Daning Park, Jing’an Sculpture Park and along bustling Nanjing Road W. On Thursday, the array, including orange, pink and white flowers, swayed in a spring breeze like dainty young ladies along Nanjing Road W, outside Metro stations and in roadside gardens.

‘Sending Flowers out’ instead of ‘Inviting People In’

With the city’s parks closed due to the epidemic, festival organizers the Xinhu Group, Daning Park and Jing’an Culture and Tourism Bureau came up an idea of “sending flowers out” instead of “inviting people in.” At 9am on Thursday, workers decorated the south square of Shanghai Railway Station with colorful tulips. The flower immediately caught the eyes of passengers returning to Shanghai. “I will resume work next Monday. It’s such as surprise that these flowers welcomed me when I returned Shanghai. I felt encouraged,” a young woman surnamed Wang said. People working at the station to safeguard entry and exit points received tulips as gifts. They included those patrolling around the station and measuring passengers’ temperatures. Xinhu said 300.000 tulips of more than 90 species are being sent to volunteers, medics, police officers, grassroots officials and journalists, among other frontline workers, in six Shanghai districts.

In Jing’an, hospitals and community centers will receive 30.000 pots of tulips and Huashan Hospital, which has been making great contributions in the anti-virus campaign, will receive an additional 6.000 pots. Ruijin Hospital in Huangpu District will receive 9.000 pots.

Royal Van Zanten

The tulips were supplied by Xinhu Group & Royal Van Zanten (Hillegom). “We think it is great that we can use our bulbs to make a positive contribution to soften the impact of the corona virus in China,” says Klaas Jan Vijn, Director Van Zanten Flowerbulbs. In China the tulip stands for ‘HOPE’. Through this action we hope we can give people hope and confidence in the future.

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