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Away winter blues! Netherlands marks National Tulip Day

AMSTERDAM – Winter blues 0, joyful color 1.

Tulip growers in the Netherlands beat back winter — if only for a day — with a riotous explosion of color Saturday as they turned an Amsterdam square into a multi-colored feast for cold-dulled senses to mark National Tulip Day.

Several thousand people converged on Dam Square in front of the Royal Palace to enjoy and pick the 200,000 free tulips, making gorgeous bunches for themselves from the rainbow of vibrant colors on offer.

Each person was limited to 20 free flowers. Tulip growers helped visitors make their bouquets.

National Tulip Day marks the opening of the tulip season for the Netherlands' flower industry.

“I came with some of my friends and also my family just for this event, for the National Tulip Day, the start of the tulip season," Fuschia Ramadhanti, a visitor from Indonesia, said.

Flowers are a flourishing business in the Netherlands, the world's biggest tulip producer. The country annually grows between 1.7 and 2 billion tulips, which are exported to more than 100 countries worldwide.

Horticultural products such as fresh flowers, bulbs and plants were the highest-value Dutch agricultural sector in 2019, worth 9.5 billion euros.