March festivals: Japan’s cherry blossom festival

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By Karen Hart

Teach children about Hanami, a Japanese festival, and make a traditional greetings card.

Cherry blossom
Image by Patrice Neff / Wikimedia Commons

Hanami, Japan’s cherry blossom season, is one of the most beautiful sights in the world. Hanami literally translates as ‘viewing flowers’, but this generally refers to cherry blossom. The Hanami tradition is said to have originated more than a thousand years ago, when aristocrats wrote poems showing their appreciation of cherry blossom. The festivals now take place across Japan, with most being held between March and May, although some regions hold festivals in January, February and June; it all depends on the location and information given through special cherry blossom forecasts, which vary from year to year

Although viewing the cherry blossom is the main attraction of the festival, there are also many other attractions to take in, such as Japanese performing arts shows and traditional tea ceremonies held under a canopy of blossom. Many Hanami festivals also hold evening ‘light-up’ events which are particularly beautiful.

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