Yep, it’s that time of year again. Spring never arrives casually in southern Sweden. It literally breaks out from one week to the next. A kind follower from this page let me know the other day about the courtyard where she lives and how beautiful the cherry trees are right now. I went over there today and the delicate pink and white blossoms certainly create a stunning, almost surreal sight for these winter-worn eyes.
While genuinely appreciated here in Scandinavia, cherry tree blooming is a really important cultural event in Japan, where it is known as Hanami. People gather under the blooming trees to celebrate the arrival of spring, and to enjoy picnics and parties with friends and family. A few years back, Charlotte, Elle, and I celebrated Hanami in Tokyo. It was nothing short of amazing!
In addition to their obvious aesthetic and aromatic appeal, cherry blossoms have symbolic significance in Japanese culture. They are seen as a metaphor for the fleeting nature of life, as the blossoms only last for a short time before falling to the ground. Cherry blossoms also represent renewal and the beauty of new beginnings.
In the United States, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is held annually in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the gift of cherry blossom trees from Japan to the United States in 1912.