In Japan, the cherry blossom known as Sakura, symbolises the transience of life. The cherry blossom tree is known for its short but brilliant blooming season, a natural process that metaphorically describes human life.
The cherry blossom has been celebrated for many centuries and holds a very prominent position in Japanese culture. Although there are many varieties of cherry tree in Japan, most bloom for just a couple of days in Spring. The Japanese celebrate this time of the year with Hanami which quite literally are cherry blossom viewing parties.
Friends, family and work colleagues gather and sit on mats under the blossoming trees in parks and throughout the countryside, to just enjoy the transient beauty of the cherry blossoms.
People in Japan make cherry blossom viewing fun: they drink and eat, bring home-cooked meals, make barbecued foods and have a picnic under the trees.
I am extremely blessed to have two gorgeous cherry blossom trees in my garden and every year I wait with great anticipation for the blossom to arrive and every year it does, right on cue for my birthday so today I’m going to hold our own Hanami right in our garden.
We’ll sit under the cherry blossom trees, have a picnic, relax and emmerse ourselves in the joy of appreciating the cherry blossoms.
And that is what Hanami is all about: appreciating the present and reflecting on the transient nature of being. The fragile flowers do not last for long so don’t miss the chance to enjoy them while they last.