Monday, March 28, 2005

Cherry Blossom Festival

Hanami, or Flower Viewing, takes place in late March and early April. During this time the cherry trees in Japan go into full bloom, and the air is thick with pink petals as gentle spring breezes rustle the trees. Traditionally hanami was practiced by court elites and samurai, who would gather beneath the blossoming branches to drink sake, eat special foods, and write poetry praising the delicate flowers. Samurai warriors were especially taken by the flowers as symbols of life’s fleeting beauty. Today the tradition of flower viewing parties continues in modern Japan, with crowds of people congregating in parks to hold banquets under the beautiful flowering trees. Here in Southern California, hanami will be celebrated at the 4th Annual Pasadena Cherry Blossom Festival. The event offers dance, music, art exhibits, fashion shows, martial arts and sumo demonstrations, food, a parade, traditional crafts, and fun for the whole family. It all takes place at Pasadena’s famous Rose Bowl on April 2nd & 3rd. For more information, visit