How is cherry blossom celebrated in Japan? 

[日本語]


Unfortunately we don’t celebrate Easter in Japan because of religious difference.

But we have beautiful cherry blossom festivals, which occur in spring season. The festivals occur in each religion but the precise date of it depends on the weather. Southern parts of Japan usually start blooming from the middle of March. The festivals gradually move North toward the end of April. During this season news stations forecast cherry blossoms blooming and give the expected date of when the festival would be. That way people can decide when and where to go for festivals. For information on the expected festivals in 2009, please go to
http://gojapan.about.com/library/special/blsakurakaikayosou2009.htm.

The cherry blossom festivals are some of the most important Japanese representative customs. If you are considering a visit to Japan, I recommend the spring season. In a typical cherry blossom festival (It’s called Ohanami: お花見), people sit down under the trees and enjoy singing, dancing, eating or drinking, you name it! Tea ceremonies are quite often attended by traditional people at Ohanami, on the other hand, young people are more likely to focus on drinking and dancing.

The climax of cherry blossom festival is a night-time event with a lot of illumination, reflecting cherry blossoms. (It’s called Yozakura: 夜桜) It’s just speechlessly romantic and beautiful!

Cherry blossom festival is not just a party but also a special meaningful event for Japanese people. Cherry blossom is a symbol of short-lived beauty in Japan. People place high value on this traditional festival, and take this time to reflect upon their own lives. Life is short so you have to appreciate and embrace. We are taught by cherry blossoms that you should do your best to bloom in the short life you have, and proudly wither when it’s done.

As a result of the economic crisis, people feel that they cannot afford to reflect upon their own lives or even appreciate the beauty of life. Therefore, this year’s cherry blossom festival has assumed a more important role than in the previous years as it allows the Japanese to get a break from harsh reality and to momentarily escape from it.

Now if you finish reading this article, why don’t you jump in an airplane and visit Japan?

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