Flowers for Pope Francis’ Easter celebration on display in Dutch churches

Jofelle P. Tesorio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 14 2020 08:51 AM

Flowers for Pope Francis’ Easter celebration on display in Dutch churches 1
Flowers for Pope Francis’ Easter celebration on display in Dutch churches 2
Flowers for Pope Francis’ Easter celebration on display in Dutch churches 3

Colorful tulips and other varieties destined for the Vatican are displayed in some churches in the Netherlands. Jofelle Tesorio, ABS-CBN News

Colorful tulips and other varieties destined for the Vatican are displayed in some churches in the Netherlands. Jofelle Tesorio, ABS-CBN News

Colorful tulips and other varieties destined for the Vatican are displayed in some churches in the Netherlands. Jofelle Tesorio, ABS-CBN News

HILLEGOM, The Netherlands - For the first time in 35 years, there were no flowers on Saint Peter’s Square during the Pope’s Easter Celebration.

The Netherlands, which has been supplying the flowers for the Vatican during Easter, was not able to send the flowers due to the lockdown in Italy, including the Vatican.

Instead, the flowers destined for the Vatican were donated to churches around the region called ‘bollenstreek’ where flowers are grown in the Netherlands.

The flowers, a collection of colorful and beautiful tulips, hyacinths and other varieties, have been displayed in front of closed churches for passersby and bikers to appreciate.

The flowers are prepared as early as March and normally accompanied by the chief arranger Paul Deckers and 25 florists from the Netherlands who for two days work on the floral arrangements in Saint Peter's Square.

"Given the developments and the measures which have been taken in Italy, we have decided not take any risks," Deckers told public television NOS. The official big ceremonies at the Vatican did not take place but Pope Francis led the Easter Celebration alone.

The flower industry in the Netherlands, which account for 77% of the world’s supply, has been hit hard by the COVID-19 measures. It will estimating a loss of about 2 billion Euro this year.

The start of spring is the busiest season of the flower and bulb industry. The oversupply has made local flowers on sale in The Netherlands while many growers give flowers to hospitals, old homes, and offices of front liners instead of throwing them away.