Around this time of year something very special begins to happen. Bulbs begin to sprout, the air begins to warm, and flowers begin to blossom. In Japan, this event is celebrated by a tradition that is called Hanami. Every year, between the end of March and the beginning of April, crowds gather throughout Japan to witness the beauty of thousands of trees in blossom. While all flowers are worthy of celebration, the particular flowers that are viewed during the Hanami are Sakura,(or Cherry Blossoms) and Ume(Plum Blossoms).
In The United States, the tradition of Hanami inspires countless festivals throughout the country. These festivals celebrate not only the blossoming of trees, but Japanese heritage, traditions, and culture. The largest of these American festivals is The National Cherry Blossom Festival, held in Washington D.C. This year, the festival begins on March 29, and will run until April 13. Other festivals can be found throughout the United States during the early Spring. Here is a small sampling of festivals that are being held in 2008.
Hanami: Celebrating the Cherry-Viewing Season
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn, New York
Saturday, April 5 – Sunday, May 11
Macon Georgia’s 26th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival
March 28 – April 6
7th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
April 5 – 6
Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival
San Francisco, California
April 12, 13, 19, and 20
Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia
Horticulture Center, Fairmount Park
Denver Colorado Cherry Blossom Festival
June 28 – 29
If you can’t find a festival near you, you can always celebrate the Cherry and Plum Blossom Season at home by sampling some traditional Japanese Skin Care Ingredients. Our Kyoto Scrub recipe is a great example of how these simple, and beneficial ingredients can be used. Treat yourself to a healthful meal of traditional Japanese cuisine, a cup of steaming green tea, and a special home spa experience. You can also celebrate Hanami by creating some bath and body treats scented with one of our blossom themed synthetic Fragrance Oils. Asian Plum Blossom, and Cherry Blossom are two of my favorites!