Originally a native of Asia, today Cherry blossoms bloom in many parts of the world.
Apart from Japan, South Korea, China, and India, they also bloom in Australia, Canada, U.S and New Zealand.
The Cherry Blossom flower holds the prestigious position of being the national flower of Japan. In Japan, the arrival of Cherry blossoms is perceived with reverence as much as it is a reason for celebration. These beautiful delicate blossoms are so deeply ingrained into the culture and history of Japan, that these flowers are known to be an iconic symbol of the country.
These blooms celebrate their presence in Japanese paintings, literature, movies and of course cuisine. Visitors to Japan can indulge in the beauty of the Cherry Blossoms tree through a sumptuous gastronomical journey of indulgence, like enjoying luscious and light sorbets, ice-creams, cakes, pies, biscuits, and pastries.
The season of Cherry Blossoms or Sakura (in Japanese), is that time of the year when visitors flock from all over the world. The riot of colors that Cherry Blossoms paint is a visual spectacle that is best enjoyed through a trip to view them.
During my recent trip to Japan, I was delightful to see the joy this season brings to the people. It is also a time of the year that enhances the bond and closeness of relationships. During the week, we were in Tokyo, the city was adorned with the Cherry Blossom trees in all their majestic glory. Not surprisingly, it appeared to be a time for weddings, parties, and festivities.
I also noticed that the Cherry Blossom trees in our hotel’s landscaped garden always had company. As guests sat under the blooming canopy of the flowers and enjoyed leisurely dinners and lunches in the pleasant spring weather, it was not difficult to see why Cherry Blossoms enchant those who view them. These blossoms indeed have the magical power to create a euphoria in their delicate ivory, pale pink, royal white shades. With the breeze, those below the tree or the ground enjoy a shower of those delicate petals, while little children run to capture the falling petals between their palms.
Each year, the Cherry Blossom tree with its lissome branches become a magical sight to behold when in full glorious bloom. As a season that traditionally initiates socializing between family and friends, it is also the time of the year that people come together for the traditional ritual of Hanami or “Cherry Blossom viewing”. The Hanami festival is marked by gaiety and fun when loved ones and friends spend time viewing the radiant blossoms of the Cherry Blossom tree while relishing great music and delicious food.
As the national flower of Japan, Cherry Blossoms serve as a reminder of the transience of life. It reminds us that nothing lasts forever. Like the fragile blossoms, we too have to leave the earth after our time is over. The cycle of life that we are a part of is also another philosophy that these flowers narrate to us through their lives. Their life is how life can be experienced, enjoyed and concluded. It is not how long or short our life is but what we make of it. The life that we choose to lead can mirror our efforts to make the best of it before we leave.
Like the Cherry Blossoms, we can aim to celebrate our existence, celebrate the opportunities we receive from life and create a little magic in the process. Most importantly, leave behind a fragrant and memorable memory, of our existence.