If you have an appreciation for the floral varieties in the world, then you definitely love the cherry blossoms or Sakura flowers. These lovely pink flowers, also known as Sakura, are the unofficial nation flowers of Japan. They are incredibly celebrated in their culture.
While the cherry blossoms have multiple varieties, most of them only bloom for a couple of days during the spring season. Since the flowers are so loved, special viewings are held. These are known as hanami in the Japanese culture and include parties under the trees too.
Blooming Months for the Cherry Blossoms
The cherry blossoms can be found across Japan. However, they come to full boom in different months depending on the various cities. From early April to late may, cherry blossoms come to life throughout the different cities.
The Washington Cherry Blossom Trees Festival
The popularity of these pink beauties is not only limited to Japan. Their beauty is celebrated in many different countries of the world. Washington, DC, in the US, specifically holds a National Cherry Blossoms Trees Festival each year. This festival is organized to in honor of the gift of 3,000 cherry trees by Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city in 1912. The festival is one of the biggest celebrations during springtime in the US.
Where Can You Find the Cherry Blossom?
The flowers are widely distributed in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere. This includes Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, West Siberia, Iran, and Afghanistan.
Cherry Blossoms in Japan
Japanese culture puts great importance on the cherry blossoms. There is a special organization for the cherry blossoms viewing known as the Japan Cherry Blossom Association. They list the top 100 cherry blossom spots. And you can find at least one location in every prefecture.
The culture also celebrates the symbolism of the cherry blossoms. They are often symbolized as clouds because they grow in masses and bloom like the shapes of the clouds. Since the cherry blossoms bloom for such a short period of time, they are also associated with the mortal and temporary nature of life. This metaphorical association is often considered to be a result of Buddhist influence.
Because the symbolism of the flowers is quite significant, it is often found in Japanese artistic expression as well. You will see it commonly used in the art, manga, anime, movies, and musical performances.
The cherry blossoms can also be easily found in the goods used on a daily basis. They are added to designs of Japanese traditional clothing, stationery, dish-ware iPhone cases and more.
The flowers were also popularly used during the Second World War. The Japanese people found motivation and a sense of nationalism from the Sakura. Japanese pilots used to paint the flowers onto the side if the planes when going on a suicide mission or decide to take branches with them.
Regardless of being a great centre of attention in Japan, it is hard to resist the visual beauty that is the cherry blossom flowers.