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All About Cherry Blossoms

Apr 03, 2017

The cherry blossom is the flower of the cherry tree, and in many countries around the world has come to symbolize the transition from winter to spring. The tree is thought to be native to the Himalayas, but is currently prevalent throughout temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in Europe, China, Japan, Korea, the United States, and Canada. 

Symbolism

  • The cherry blossom, or sakura, is the national flower of Japan, and holds a lot of symbolism in Japanese culture. The flowers represent a number of things. Due to their blooming patters, they symbolize clouds, and also stand for the transitory nature of life. 
  • Cherry blossoms also symbolize mortality, and the acceptance of destiny. Some of these beliefs are thought to have generated from Japanese Buddhism. 
  • Because of its rich symbolism, the cherry blossom is commonly featured in Japanese art, film, anime, and tattoo design. 

Check out these cherry trees blooming in Central Park!Check out these cherry trees blooming in Central Park!Courtesy of centralpark.com

Celebrations

  • From the end of March to early May, cherry blossoms bloom throughout Japan. During this time, it is traditional to engage in hanami (flower viewing), a custom by which citizens enjoy picnics and/or parties under the blooms of the cherry tree. Some of the parties can get pretty raucous! 
  • In Vancouver, Canada cherry blossoms sometimes bloom as early as March. Vancouver boasts thousands of cherry trees (some gifted by Japan) and the city celebrates the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, which offers residents fun opportunities to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the cherry blossom. 
  • In Hamburg, Germany, the German-Japanese society organizes a large hanami, annually attended by tens of thousands of people, featuring fireworks and other celebrations. 
  • Japan gifted over 3,000 cherry trees to the United States in 1912, many of which were planted in Washington, DC. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a popular tourist attraction. 

Japanese residents celebrate hanami every spring. Japanese residents celebrate hanami every spring. Courtesy of japanexperterna.se

Cherry Blossom Fun Facts

  • Hanami is so important in Japan that the country's meteorological society follows and broadcasts spring's warm front as it moves throughout Japan and brings out the blossoms!
  • Cherry blossoms are so symbolic of the transient nature of beauty because their blooms only appear once a year and typically only last a week or two. 
  • In Japan, even McDonald's has been known to celebrate cherry blossom season - one year they offered cherry blossom burgers, featuring pink buns! 
  • Macon, Georgia is actually the cherry blossom capital of the world; the city features as many as 300,000 cherry trees!

That's right, the cherry blossom burger features a pink bun and pink mayo!That's right, the cherry blossom burger features a pink bun and pink mayo!Courtesy of kotaku.com

Now that you know all the special meaning that goes along with cherry blossom season, maybe you'll feel inspired to look around your city this spring and see if you can find a blooming tree to picnic under!

Have Your Say!

Do you have cherry trees in your part of the world? Share your experiences in our comments section!

 

16 Comments

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AnnaOfExquizurd
" In the vast, deep forest of Hyrule… long have I served as the guardian spirit… I am known as the Deku Tree. The children of the forest, the Kokiri, live here with me. Each Kokiri has his or her own guardian fairy. However, there is one boy who does not have a fairy…. " *** In his tree-trunk home, the boy was tossing and turning on his little cot. The circular room was dark; it was nighttime. And, as it was nighttime again, his young mind was plunged into the same nightmare again.... Hooves, galloping in a rapid staccato, like a myriad of drums being pounded, raced across a dark path lit on either side by fire as tall as the boy. But they only reached the shoulders of the horse as dark as midnight, its master clothed in cloth and armor just as dark. But that wasn't what was scary... it was the aura of evil practically dripping off the man, with his fiery hair and dark, nearly-green skin.... And how real he felt. *** "...Navi... Navi, where art thou? Come hither...." Back in my clearing, a cyan ball of light entered my line of sight, gently bobbing a few feet off of the ground. A pair of barely visible clear wings were the only indicator that she was facing me. Compared to my massive size, she was almost a speck. " Oh, Navi the fairy... listen to my words, the words of the Deku Tree.... Dost thou sense it? The climate of evil descending upon this realm.... Malevolent forces even now are mustering to attack our land of Hyrule.... For so long, the Kokiri Forest, the source of life, has stood a barrier, deterring outsiders and maintaining the order of the world.... But, before this tremendous evil power, my power is as nothing.... It seems the time has come for the boy without a fairy to begin his journey... the youth whose destiny it is to lead Hyrule to the path of justice and truth.... Navi, go now! Find our young friend and guide him to me... I do not Have much time left. Fly, Navi, fly! The fate of the forest--nay, the world--depends upon thee. "
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AnnaOfExquizurd
So, this is a story version of the game  The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time  that I'm writing for (a) fun and (b) one of my friends who is interested in it, but can't play it. Some of the characters' words will be direct quotes, and some won't. I'm going to try and make it as exact to the game as possible. I'll have direct quotes pointed out like this: " Hey, listen! " And more paraphrased things will be formatted regularly. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the story--coming up in the next post! I DO NOT CLAIM ANY PART OF THIS STORY--CHARACTERS, PLOT, LORE, AND EVERYTHING BESIDES THE FACT I DESCRIBED IT--AS MINE. ALL CHARACTERS, LORE, AND EVERY BIT OF THE PLOT BELONGS TO NINTENDO. I MERELY DESCRIBED IT AND AM DOING THIS FOR A FRIEND.
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Mew2_
Mew2_ posted in Random:
Basically you drink water and can't use the bathroom. there are many rules and different ways to play. But this is what it boils down to. let me know if you ever have played this game before, or anything like it.
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Tennis123
Tennis123 posted in Debating:
i want to try to bring this forum back to life. but i would like to point out that if you say that because "X" its ok to kill animals, then if that same thing was present in a human, it would be morally justified to kill them. if choose that we can kill animals because of something but not humans for the exact same reason, then thats a double standard and logically inconsistant.
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ThatRandomChick719
MAYUSHIGE AHHHHHHH Thank you @snoopynwoodstock123     I am a grown child
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