After a long, cold winter, what better way to welcome spring than the arrival of beautiful cherry blossoms. The world has to thank Japan and its scatteringof cherry trees around the globe and now many places in the world host cherry blossom festivals. This magnificent tree was originally known as "sakura" and have been spread by travellers and also been given as formal gifts to other nations.
Cherry blossoms are very important in Japanese culture and symbolize "the fragility, transience and beauty of life" (Smithsonian, 2016).
Today you can find these lovely trees blooming and coloring streets and parks in many shades of pinkaround the world from mid-March all through April in the northern hemisphere or late September through October in the Southern Hemisphere.
Many cities around the world hold festivals to celebrate the arrival of the cherry blossoms. Most feature music, food, photography contests and well attended by people happy to be welcoming warmer weather and one of mother nature’s most stunning displays.
We love this time of the year and wish we could visit each and every one of these cherry blossom hot spots and festivals. It is an opportunity to travel to cities around the world at a time when these places are painted in pink and nature is in full bloom.
Where to enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festivals
Here are a 7 of the places we recommend to visit to enjoy the cherry blossoms this season, we hope you get the chance to enjoy them and all the wonderful spring flowers wherever you may be!
1. Hirosaki, Japan - Hirosaki- Matsuri Festival
The Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival takes place at the Hirosaki Castle park. It is one of the best places in the world to see cherry blossoms. There are over 2,600 trees surrounded by beautiful mountains, blue skies and the Hirosaki Castle. During the day, people can enjoy renting a boat, strolling around the castle and at night the park is illuminated until 10pm and people can go for walk while to enjoy the cherry blossoms by moonlight. This beautiful festival takes place in late April until early May when cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
2. Vancouver, Canada - Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival
As locals, we can definitely say the over 40,000 cherry trees in the city make Vancouver one of the most beautiful places in the world to be during the spring. Some of the best places for a picture include Stanley Park, the VanDusen Botanical Gardens and Queen Elizabeth Park. The Cherry Blossom Festival takes place in late March and lasts for several weeks into April. Vancouver celebrates withmusic concerts (Cherry Jam Concert), art & crafts workshops (origami), Spring Lights Illumination Night (Queen Elizabeth Park).
3. Amsterdam, The Netherlands - The Japanese Sakura (Cherry Blossom Festival)
This wonderful festival takes place in city streets as a celebration to welcome warmer weather, spring and blossoming cherry trees. People from all over join the Japanese community in the Netherlands to celebrate by picnicking under the trees andenjoying some traditional Japanese food and drinks set up under festival tents. Depending on the weather, this festival takes place in early-mid April.
4. Jerte Valley, Spain - Fiesta del Cerezo en Flor
The Jerte Valley located close to Caceres, Extremadura in the western part of the country hosts over 2 million cherry trees. During one week in early April this area in Spain hosts a jubilee to celebrate its bursting cherry blossoms. The festival in Jerte includes guided tours, a craft market, cooking workshops and musical performances. Cherry blossoms here are white and cover such a vast area that pictures might trick in to thinking the trees are covered by snow.
5. Brooklyn, New York, USA - Sakura Matsuri Festival
The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is the best place to see blooming cherry treesaround New York City. The Sakura Matsuri festival takes place in late April through early May. This festival has plenty of different events to celebrate Japanese culture. They range from music and dance performances, art exhibitions, tea ceremonies, workshops and kids events. Information on the bloom development for each tree is provided in the festival's website.
6. Washington, D.C. USA - National Cherry Blossom Festival
The world’s biggest cherry blossoms celebration is held in the USA. The cherry blossom in DC has a festival that takes place in a beautiful area of the city where guests enjoy walking among the country’s most important national monuments with the cherry blossoms as a backdrop.
The festival welcomes over 80 cultural groups, food booths, arts vendors, music and dance performances. There is a wonderful street parade that is the event’s culmination during this full month of celebrations.
This festival in DC takes place in early April celebrating the arrival of spring, its cherry blossoms and Japanese culture. The parade includes elaborate floats, marching bands, giant helium balloons, celebrity entertainers and musical performances. It runs from the National Archives to the Washington Monument as merry-makers line the streets to take it all in.
7. Meghalaya, India - India Cherry Blossom Festival
India’s Cherry Blossom Festival takes place in late October early November. This four day festival showcases the beauty of the pink and white cherry blossoms, traditional arts, culture and cuisine of the Meghalaya region in north east India.