Monday, June 13, 2011

Top 10 Cherry Blossom Sightings

  1. The most popular and widely attended Cherry Blossom Festival is in our nation’s capital, Washington, D. C.

  1. The festival in Washington D.C. is being held this year from March 26th –April 10th.

  1. Saturday April 9th is the National Cherry Blossom Parade which will run along Constitution Avenue between 7th -17th street.

  1. The Cherry Blossom Trees can be found on this map along the Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park

  1. The National Park Service provides a webcam for viewing of the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D. C.

  1. The story behind this display began in 1885 with a vision from Mrs. Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore after her visit to Japan.  After several attempts, she finally got the attention of the new first lady Mrs. Helen H. Taft in 1909 who was in the position to make it happen.  The rest as they say is history and you can read the full story at the link to National Park Service website.

  2. Weather permitting it is an event to put on your bucket list.  It does get crowded but it is also a very enriching way to spend a beautiful afternoon out among nature.

  1. If the travel does not fit into your budget or time frame, Washington is always worth at least two days, the city of Philadelphia offers quite a sculptured landscape of cherry blossoms as well along the Schuylkill River.  The blooms are just beginning.

  1. Philadelphia is also home to over 2000 flowering Japanese cherry trees, half of which were a gift from the Japanese government in 1926 in honor of the 150th anniversary of American independence, with the other half planted by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia between 1998 and 2007. Philadelphia's cherry blossoms are located within Fairmount Park, and the annual Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia this year celebrates the blooming trees March 4th thru April 15th.

  1. Other US cities have an annual Cherry Blossom Festival (or Sakura Matsuri), including the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia, which features over 300,000 cherry trees this takes place in late March. Belleville, Bloomfield, and Newark, New Jersey celebrate the annual Branch Brook Park Cherry Blossom Festival from April 9th -17th, which attracts thousands of visitors from the local area, Japan, and India. As of April 2009, Branch Brook Park has a cherry tree collection with over 4,000 cherry blossoms in more than fourteen different varieties. Branch Brook Park will soon have more flowering cherry trees than Washington, D.C., thanks to an ongoing replanting program. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York City also has a large, well-attended festival. This link is worth checking out.  Not only is the map so well designed and thought out but they also have a 2008 time lapse video that is worth watching.

The Cherry Blossom Tree is a symbol of friendship between the United States and Japan. One way to extend the hand of friendship back to Japan is to make a contribution to the American Red Cross in support of the relief efforts going on now in their time of need.

Buddhism’s concept of “mono no aware” means “sensitivity to things” it teaches the Cherry Blossoms’ cycle of exceptional beauty followed by a quick death, a human being’s life can be given and taken at any moment.

The seasonal emergence of the cherry blossom serves as a reminder as well as the recent devastation that happened in Japan.

Photos at the blog link


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