It’s Hanami season!

Learn about the National Cherry Blossom Festival

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Lexi

This is a picture of the website to where you can buy tickets for the festival and the other activities offered.

    According to National Park service, Hanami, the National Cherry Blossom Festival that originated in Japan, has been celebrated since the seventh century and is an ongoing celebration in Japan and U.S. 

    Hana stands for “flower” and Mi stands for “to look”. According to the definition, Hanami is the celebration of watching cherry blossom trees bloom. In Japan during spring, specifically the time within March and April when the flowers blossom, friends, families, and individuals gather to view these blooming trees in special settings. Often picnics will be held in honor of this day that include but aren’t limited to, singing, dancing, snacks, and an alcoholic beverage called Nihonshu. Each year is just as competitive as the last to get the best spot. Commonly within a company, new employees will be given the job to leave early in the morning to sit all day and save a spot for the rest of the company attending the event later on. The viewing of flowers started with the Heian Period and extended to the majority during the Azuchi Momoyama Period. The celebration has been ongoing and ended up spreading to the U.S. too.

    According to the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the celebration of cherry blossom trees has spread to Washington, D.C. celebrating the 110th year since Washington was gifted cherry blossom trees from Tokyo. This year the festival will be held between the dates of March 20th to April 17th. The celebrations offer a wide variety of different activities. Each day that the Cherry Blossom Festival is open it offers a new event. Japanese lantern lighting is on April third, along with Sakura Sunday. If you want to see the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade make sure to get your tickets for April ninth. This festival is full of different things and even offers opportunities to volunteer. Helping out the festival can range in many different ways including becoming a goodwill ambassador, applying to perform, planting trees, or just becoming a volunteer.

    If you are unable to make it in person to any of the events, there are still ways to support from the comfort of your own home. Online museum tours are offered as early as March 14th. Adopting a cherry tree helps the National Park Service protect its 3,700 cherry trees. March 21st marked 70% of the trees at peak bloom. If you are interested in seeing the blooming trees, #BloomCam is for you. The Bloom Cam offers 24/7 live footage of cherry blossom trees year round. 

    This festival happens each year to bring people together to celebrate the viewing of these blossomed trees. Tickets for specific events and book a last minute spring break trip can be found on nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.