Chinese New Year (also known as Spring festival) celebration began on Valentine’s Day this year. 15 days of feasting. After the Spring festival celebration, what do we look forward to? Spring, naturally!
Spring comes early this year. It was still winter coat I was adorning last week and today, the weather has gone above 22 deg. C! What a remarkable warm-up! That only implies one thing. This year, the cherry blossoms will bloom in no time! For the last decade, it’s been shifting forward from end April to end March. Now, I think we’d actually see Sakura in mid March! What a promising time! The world will wake up from its slumber and hibernation to embrace the promises of Spring!
Spring in Kyoto
As with the Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) I found Spring to be most beautiful in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. Kyoto is extremely regal during this time of the year. If you are lucky like I was, you'll probably get to see maikos dancing all the traditional dances at the temples too. It is a rare treat that only greets tourists and locals alike during this time of the year when the Sakura is in full splendor in its splendid garden as well.A most unforgettable sight, one of the things anyone should see before one dies!
It is absolutely the loveliest time of the year - Spring. The beginning of the cherry blossoms & party time. It is a time for joy & rejoice. A time to enjoy simple beauty in life.
The best time of the year to visit Japan. To enjoy these short-lived, beautiful & magnificent sights, Kyoto is the ultimate choice. The geishas are out there dancing & the mood is one of exuberance. Enjoy the dance of life & the best of what Japan has to offer now. Spring is that time of the year.
The Story of Hanami & Sakura
(An excerpt from Wikipedia.org) “Hanami was first used as a term analogous to cherry blossom viewing in the Heian era novel Tale of Genji. Whilst a wisteria viewing party was also described, from this point on the terms "hanami" and "flower party" were only used to describe cherry blossom viewing.
Sakura originally was used to divine that year's harvest as well as announce the rice-planting season. People believed in kami inside the trees and made offerings. Afterwards, they partook of the offering with sake. Emperor Saga of the Heian Period adopted this practice, and held flower-viewing parties with sake and feasts underneath the blossoming boughs of sakura trees in the Imperial Court in Kyoto. Poems would be written praising the delicate flowers, which were seen as a metaphor for life itself, luminous and beautiful yet fleeting and ephemeral. This was said to be the origin of hanami in Japan.”
Spring time - Merry time & Marry time
It was said after the offering of the ring, it's the beginning of sufferings. Well, what do u think? In Japan, weddings are costly affairs. They can cost as much as a house or even more. Yet, there are still an amazing numbers of marriages going on seasons after seasons. I suppose that bodes well; there's hope afterall :) In any case, good luck to all those who decided to have a wedding in this country & this season! Hmm, I wonder how much those kimonos alone cost?!
Kimono & All things traditional
During the Spring & the Cherry Blossom season, you’ll encounter many young adults adorning beautiful kimonos and taking the catwalk around town. These are mostly young girls coming of age or maikos and geishas who are out and about during the Miyako Odori (Cherry Blossom Dances) performances which runs in the entire month of April.
Other than the colourful performances at Gion, you’ll also be treated with the most perfect weather to drink and wine with friends in the park. Who is to say that Spring is not the most liberating season of the year?