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Cherry blossom         (Cherry Blossom)




cherry tree

The Cherry Blossom (Sakura) is Japan's unofficial National Flower. For many Japanese people, the blooming of the Cherry Trees symbolises human life,  transience and nobleness. The beauty is celebrated while it lasts. It takes a prominent position in Japanese culture and it has become a tradition to celebrate the Spring-time flowering of the Cherry Trees with Hanami. Hanami mostly consists of having an outdoor party beneath the Sakura either during daytime or at night. Hanami at night is called Yosakura. This literally means "Night Sakura".
There are many different Cherry Tree varieties in Japan and they mostly bloom for just a few days in Spring.
Athough Hanami literally means "flower viewing", it is usually only used when referring to viewing Cherry Blossom.

It is usually considered a German habit to reserve a sun bed by placing a towel on it at first light. They are not alone in this practice.  It isnít well known outside Japan that the Japanese also reserve a picnic spot long before the party is held. It is usual to spread a picnic sheet early in the morning and  mark it with the name of the group.  In a land where respect is of paramount importance, unattended picnic sheets are usually left undisturbed.

Cherry blossom picnic

Cherry + pagoda

The Sakura (Cherry Blossom) season is usually only about two weeks long.  Mankai (Full Bloom) is about one week after the opening of the first blossoms (Kaika). Just one week later, the blossoms are falling from the trees. The blooming season can be cut even shorter if there is strong wind and rain.