Hanami is a beautiful Japanese tradition focused on enjoying a day under the trees, with friends and a picnic.
Hanami is the Japanese tradition of flower viewing, which has been practiced for many centuries. In Japanese, Hanami quite literally translates to the phrase ¨flower viewing.¨ Japanese culture has a strong connection to nature, and there are other activities which express this connection, like Shinrin Yoku (the practice of ¨forest bathing¨)
Generally the flowering viewing practice of Hanami is focused on flowering trees, such as the Sakura tree or Plum tree. During spring these trees blossom to life and bring with them beautiful shades of color. Hanami takes place during this period of time, which lasts from March until May.
In older times people used to bring offerings and gifts to the Sakura tree, as it was thought to aid in the harvest for the year. Nowadays people all over Japan enjoy Hanami by partaking in picnics and feasts. These feasts generally in parks and other natural environments. Sometimes these feasts go all day and all night!
In the United States, Hanami is also celebrated in a similar manner. Various Cherry Blossoms festivals which take place in different parts of the country. Macon, Georgia, is considered to be the Cherry Blossom capital of the world, with over 300,000 Sakura trees grown there. In Washington D.C. there are over 7,000 cherry blossoms, which were donated to the U.S by Japan to celebrate friendship between the two nations.
While Hanami is generally focused on flower trees, perhaps we can take a cue from this wonderful holiday and create our own picnic in nature. Everyone could use a wonderful and relaxing picnic day at the park with loved ones.
The key to a successful Hanami is a perfect picnic spot (preferably under some flowering trees,) good food and drinks, and good company. Celebrations like this provide a respite from normal day-to-day activities. There´s a lot to love about Hanami.
Have you ever participated in something like this?
Did you know you can you a Bios Urn with a Sakura Tree? This beautiful tree species can be used outdoors, or indoors as a Bonsai tree.