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Cherry Blossom Season
"Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
In fields, mountains and villages
As far as the eye can see.
Is it mist, or clouds?
Fragrant in the rising sun.
Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms,
Flowers in full bloom. "
~ Translation of "Sakura, Sakura"
Cherry Blossom Season is early this year! "Sakura Sakura" (さくら さくら, "Cherry blossoms, cherry blossoms"), is a traditional Japanese folk song celebrating spring, the season of cherry blossoms. Each year, the date of the first blooming of cherry blossoms is closely watched in Japan and elsewhere. The colours in this tartan are intended to represent the flower and nature; pink represents the Kawazu Zakura, one of the most important type of Sakura and the colour of its early cherry blossom; green represents the colour of the leaves that bloom after the petals fall; blue represents the sky and white represents clouds. Kawazu Zakura cherry trees are famous for blooming early. Unlike some other cherry trees, whose flowers fall as quickly as they bloom, Kawazu flowers bloom for about a full month! This breed of tree is said to have started with a sapling that was accidentally discovered and then raised in the town of Kawazu in 1955. 🌸
It's the season for Cherry Blossom festivals in Japan, and in many other places around the world.
This is one of a set of four tartans in 'The Four Seasons' collection by designer David McGill, created in 2008 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first treaty between Japan and the UK (1858) and the arrival of Thomas Blake Glover, the Scottish Samurai, in Nagasaki (1859).
The sakura (cherry blossom in Japanese) tartan represents Spring.
Hanami (花見?, lit. "flower viewing") is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers, flowers ("hana") in this case almost always referring to those of the cherry ("sakura") or, less frequently, plum ("ume") trees.
From the end of March to early May, sakura bloom all over Japan. The blossom forecast (桜前線 sakura-zensen, literally, cherry blossom front) is announced each year by the weather bureau, and is watched carefully by those planning hanami as the blossoms only last a week or two.
For a beautiful gallery of cherry blossom photos from Japan, click the blossoming trees.
And to find the dates and locations of cherry blossom festivals in your area for your own hanami, click here.