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Easter: The flowers of choice for St. Peter’s this year



I.Media - published on 03/23/24

As is the case every year during Holy Week, thousands of flowers will be sent from the Netherlands to decorate St. Peter's Square for Easter.

As is the case every year during Holy Week, St. Peter’s Basilica and Square will be adorned with lush floral decorations, the Vatican confirmed in a press release on March 22, 2024. Tens of thousands of bulbs will arrive from the Netherlands, the country which has supplied the Vatican with Easter flowers for almost 40 years. 

Pope Francis will preside over various celebrations at St. Peter’s during the most important week of the year for Christians. To mark these events, special decorations will be meticulously created by craftsmen from the Vatican Governorate’s Gardens and Environment Service, in collaboration with Dutch florists and also experts from Slovenia. 

On March 24, Palm Sunday, the faithful taking part in the celebrations with the head of the Catholic Church in St. Peter’s Square will receive olive branches from Sardinia. Additionally, large olive trees will adorn the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul on either side of the square, as well as the central obelisk. 

Similarly, for the Easter Vigil mass on Holy Saturday, March 30, which commemorates the resurrection of Christ, the Vatican Basilica will be richly decorated with floral arrangements made by Slovenian florists.

Flower of honor

This year, the artisans have reserved a place of honor for the ‘gerbera’ flower, of which there will be 3,500 stems and that symbolize joy, fidelity, and purity.

Gerbera purple flower
Purple gerbera

In addition, around 20,000 tulips, narcissus, and hyacinth bulbs will form a colorful composition around the altar in St. Peter’s Square.

forsythia flower yellow

The rest of the decorations will be made up of 1,200 roses, 1,000 matthiola inacana, 600 chrysanthemums, 700 delphiniums, 100 forsythia branches, and a wide range of foliage.

Delphinium flower purple

The Dutch florists prepare numerous compositions, which will be in the spotlight during the broadcasts of the celebrations across the world.  

chrysanthemum yellow flower

The flowers’ journey from the Netherlands

On Easter Sunday, March 31, the Pope will preside over Mass in St. Peter’s Square. The plaza will be covered with 30,000 flowers and plants brought by three trucks from the Netherlands. As has been the tradition since 1986, these 30,000 bulbs and stems will travel around 1,000 miles (around 1,600 kilometers) from Keukenhof flower park to Rome. Their journey will begin with a blessing from the Bishop of Rotterdam. 

In a press release, Dutch florists announced a “a sea of flowers” that will land at the Vatican on Holy Tuesday, March 26. A team of Dutch florists, coordinated by European floral art champion Piet van de Burg, will be hard at work for two days to create the 170-square-meter floral work with the main colors being purple, yellow, and white.

Dozens of arrangements are planned around the main altar, on the staircases and on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, from which Pope Francis will pronounce his “Urbi et Orbi” blessing – to the city and to the world. 

EasterSt. Peter’s SquareVatican
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