In Japan, cherry blossoms are called SAKURA, a special flower for the people and the country.
Cherry blossoms are a symbolic flower of the spring, a time of renewal, and the fleeting nature of life. In fact, the life of flowers is a very short life.
After their beauty peaks around two weeks, the blossoms start to fall.
During this season in Japan, people like to have cherry blossom parties with colleagues, friends, and family. They enjoy eating, drinking, and barbecuing underneath the cherry blossoms. This is called custom HANAMI.
HANAMI literally means “watching blossoms,” and the tradition can be traced back at least a thousand years. Schools and offices hold welcome parties during Hanami, a chance for people to bond and meet new friends.
Even at night, viewing spots are crowded with people enjoying the blossoms in a
beautiful, romantic atmosphere.
Cherry blossoms have spread throughout the world to other Asian countries, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Turkey, Spain British, Australia, and beyond.
In 1912, 3,020 trees were sent from Yokohama to Washington, D.C., as a gift from the people of Japan to the people of the United States.
The cherry trees are starting to bloom now around the National Mall and Potomac Park in Washington, D.C.
This spring, the Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the 102-year anniversary of the gift of sakura.
Hanami at night is called YOZAKURA.
6 FACTS ABOUT CHERRY BLOSSOMS:
- Cherry Blossoms are Japan's national flower
- The image, cherry blossoms framing Mount Fuji, is a common postcard view, thanks to its lake-surrounded location.
- In the U.S., we most often associate cherry blossoms with our nation's capital.
- Neither D.C. nor Japan hold the title of "Cherry Blossom Capital of the World", rather, it's Macon, Georgia
- Cherry blossoms are said to be native to the Himalayas.
- There are 200 different varieties of cherry blossom - In Japan, the most popular variety is "Somei Yoshino".
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