From folklore to popular culture, cherry blossoms have been things of joy and symbols of beauty forever. Harbouring this long strand of continuing history would not have been something so assertively eternal if these sights of delight did not also hold significance of a similarly universal appeal. The elegant aesthetics of cherry blossoms might be what has earned them global popularity but what curates the consistency of their character in charm acquired out of their native region is one occurring as an attribute derived from their very essence.
Symbolic and significant in being representative of certain facets of human life itself, cherry blossoms have been celebrated in certain places of Asia in which they originated and came therefore to be exalted. And it is from such premises of pertinence that these dainty flowers set out to take over the world by spreading throughout the essence of their petite prettiness.
Sakura of Japan
The national flower of Japan and known also as Japanese cherry or even more ‘Japanically’ as sakura, these prominent presences in pinks are today assertive of their prime status of beauty in many parts of the world. Apart from the Asian countries of China and Korea most prominently, and also some indigenous species of India as well as beautifying certain extents of Myanmar and Taiwan and Thailand and Turkey, cherry blossoms are quite the phenomenon in places as geographically distant as Australia and America for instance, while also finding bloom in all profusion of their beauty at the United Kingdom, Brazil, France, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand.
Of course the eminence of their gentle being is nowhere more pronounced than in Japan where an entire culture of the nation’s identity has the definite presence of these beauties wafting through its airs. Tied to the country’s predominant Buddhist expression are these cherry blossoms that stand closest to many of life’s eternal truths. An enduring representation of life and death that derives from as well as leads to such universality of awarenesses as mortality, mindfulness and living in the present, cherry blossoms are therefore as essential cultural icons as they are cute entities, excelling though in each of these distinctions to assume its classic charm of presenting sweeping springtime sights.
Interesting Cherry Blossom Facts
Magical through their surreal swathes of the most dreamy pinks there ever can be, conjuring up views of a world floating almost in the reverie of a cloudy fantasy, cherry blossoms bring along with their blooms the brilliance of a beauty that embodies perfectly the happy season of spring. Apart from the sensation that it thus spurs and the sentiment that it essentially stirs, the culture of the cherry blossom bloom is also one of some other fascination. Because despite the immense globalness of their popularity and of course all the fawns arising on account of their mesmerising beauty, there are certain interesting facts about these flowers that strike also in as equal an intensity as their ravishing looks.
Cherry Blossoms are also an autumnal phenomenon
First and foremost in this expositioning of interest would be the revelation that makes in fact for a reason in rejoicing. While definitely a more prominent springtime spectacle, the beauty of cherry blossoms also unfurls in the autumn season in some parts of the world. Particularly in India and even more specifically in the eastern regions of the country, autumntime colors are resplendent in these shades of pink. It also is a particular Japanese festival, the one-of-a-kind Obara Shikizakura Four-Season Cherry Blossom Festival that affords a gorgeous view of these spring hues even in autumn.
Picknicking under Cherry Blossoms is a Japanese tradition
It isn’t just this dual mode in representing the deep rooted importance that cherry blossoms hold that makes the Japanese identity of them manifest as standout. So essentially embedded in the cultural way of live and living in Japan is this flower that has entire traditions and customs find curation through it. The practice of picnicking beneath cherry blossom trees and admiring the terrific, albeit transient beauty of the flowers finds definite expression as the centuries old prevalence of Hanami. Such sakura parties that are held during the night when the trees are illuminated to put up even more aesthetic a show of beauty also find precise popularity as Yozakura.
Cherry Blossom Fronts and Forecasts
For a country so invested in the idea of seeking out surreal sights of blooming sakuras, Japan has all the arrangements in place. With dedicated blossom forecasts stipulating exact dimensions of and directions to what are referred to as cherry blossom fronts, the vibe of the season is as easily palpable as is the captivating pinkness of the country in these specified spans of blooming.
Cooking with Cherry Blossoms
Why just savoring the views though, the essence that cherry blossoms bear in regards to the cultural scape of Japan also imbues the flavors of their cuisine. The pretty blossoms themselves are edible and so are the leaves, from which a range of teas are brewed and confections created that beautifies also the culinary scape of the country.
Cherry Blossom Capital of the World
For all its identity as the nation most definite in dispersing the sakura charms, Japan however cannot claim for itself the ultimate title of being the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World. That distinction rests with Macon, Georgia that plays host to the annual International Cherry Blossom Festival. A ten day event that sees also Japan as being an important part of its history, the festival is indeed a prime element of what sums up the global glory of its host as the world capital of one of the most exquisite expressions in beauty.
Christened Cherry Blossoms of the Netherlands
Venturing yet again outside the Japanese dominion and one distinctive uniquity is boasted of by the cherry blossoms that have found planting in the country of the Netherlands. In the capital city of Amsterdam, there exist 400 individually named trees of cherry blossom that stand up impeccably to their oft entertained, more modern day symbolism of friendship. With 200 of these trees named as Japanese and the other 200 as Dutch females, the Amsterdamse Bos park through which this pleasing peculiarity plays only charms up further the pretty pinkiness of cherry blossoms.
Cherry Blossoms are not so definitely fragrant
Cherry blossoms might be more than glaring in the profusion of their beauty but they tend to be rather muted assertions of the characteristic floral fragrance. But even the mild scent that they throw tends to be equally divine, that has been incorporated in many a perfumes and incenses and candles. Pickling cherry blossoms though helps to concentrate the natural aromas of the flower, making the culinary creations centering their essence largely stir the regard for their entailing also a gastronomic experience.
Pretty even beyond the pinks
Like their smell, the whiter identity of cherry blossoms too remain muted. And while some varieties of the trees bearing these beauties paint an immaculate picture of pristinity, some even rarer variants occur instead in light tinges of yellow or green as well.
Short-lived and symbolic
The magnificence of beauty that cherry blossoms find identity in might have been charming the world since forever but the lifespan of each of these blooms is as dramatically ephemeral. They last for just around one to two weeks during which time they put up indeed shows of the most staggering kind. But they are very short lived, transient entities which is why the appropriation of their being to the fleeting nature of human life. Particularly in Japan where this ideology is most regarded, cherry blossoms are even deeply embedded an element in the concept of mono no aware, which like so many Japanese beliefs and ways of interpreting the world is a universally relevant experience and explanation of life itself.
Cherry Blossoms in China
This symbolism in a certain sadness therefore, as something necessarily stirred by an awareness in the temporariness of existence makes way for a more happy spirit in the country of China where these flowers had perhaps their first blooms. Alluding then explicitly to the physical attribute of beauty that they themselves are so popular in would be these flowers that are cherished as being celebratory of love, femininity and mystique.
Contemporary charm of the Sakura
The significance of cherry blossoms sustains even today, even when the appeal of their beauty is what shines through the brightest. Drawing upon such widespread references in popular culture therefore are such interpretations of the iconic flower. From McDonald’s Japan once selling pink hamburger buns to celebrate cherry blossoms to Coca Cola’s recurrent offering of a sakura flavored beverage in sakura themed bottles, the charm of cherry blossoms has courted a culinary character even beyond Japan.
Beotkkot of South Korea
The sakura prominence of cherry blossoms might be only natural in its identity as being the national flower of Japan. But pink vistas of as much prettiness open up also in the nation of South Korea where the occurrence of these blooms assumes yet another definition. Beotkkot being the lingual alluding to this specific season and spectacle of all stupendousness, the Korean character of this unmissable unfurling diversifies further the grand assertion of how simplicity bears the ultimate sophistication for all beauty to enchant and express.