South Kazakhstan has become the place of attraction for local and international tourists as the region held a Republican festival of tulips for the first time this year. In spring, the festival area, popularly known as the Red Hill, was decorated with Greig’s tulips. Today, these tulips were listed in the Red Book. In Kazakhstan, 32 types of tulips are grown while 12 types are considered wild-grown. Tulips are considered as the ‘ancestor’ of flowers and they are originated from South Kazakhstan.

According to the organizers, the tulip festival is intended to revive the historical importance of the Red Hill area, located at the foot of the Karatau Mountains and to popularize it among the younger generation.

MARKHABAT BAIGUT, WRITER:

- Our teacher from Abai school used to bring us here for trips. They said that this place is called Shubai-kyzyl. This entire area is red. Shubai-kyzyl is a holy mountain. Our teachers asked us to remember the place. We have memories about this area.

Today, the area is under the state protection. This is beneficial to recover the population of the wild tulips which has increased by half in five years.

KELESBEK ZHARTYBAYEV, DISTRICT GOVERNOR:

 - The area will be included into the Sairam-Ugam national nature park and it will be under state control. Thus, this property will be passed down from generation to generation.

A big camp was organized during the tulip festival. The visitors were introduced to the legends of Red Hill. There were also artists who drew the beautiful nature. The winners of the young poets and artists’ contest were awarded at the festival.

ALIMZHAN ALISHER, CONTEST WINNER:

 - I have been participating in the contest for several years. I take part not only in competitions, but also in the barefoot festivals. I was surprised by the beautiful nature of this amazing land, especially the flowers.

The festival was organized as part of the Tugan Zher program. According to the organizers, the event will attract investments, foreign tourists and develop ecotourism in the region. Last year, more than 12,000 tourists visited the Tulkibas region and this year the number is expected to double.

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