[Luxus Magazine] Hanami, an ancestral custom celebrating the beauty of the cherry blossom

Spring is here, and with it the return of fine weather and the rebirth of trees. And there’s one flower that particularly represents the new season in Japan. Discover Hanami, the custom in the Land of the Rising Sun that invites you to savour the beauty of cherry blossom.


Taking the time to enjoy the cherry blossom: it’s a tradition that couldn’t be happier. Every year, from late March to early April, the Japanese gather in their parks and gardens to admire the “sakura”, or cherry trees, which are adorned with pretty, delicate blossoms in shades of pink and white.


A centuries-old tradition


© Unsplash


This custom, known as Hanami, originated in Japan in the 8th century, during the Nara period when many of the foundations of Japanese culture, influenced by China and the Tang dynasty, were laid. At the beginning of April, the elites would gather to recite poems and drink sake. The Japanese appropriated this tradition and centred it on the sakura, heralding the rice planting season. Believers would make offerings at the foot of the cherry trees to please the gods nestled inside the trees and pray for a bountiful harvest, all the while drinking sake.


© Unsplash


A century later, the emperor Saga, during the Heian period, took up this custom and made it an annual festival at the imperial court in Kyoto. Contemplating the flowers was an opportunity to write poems about the beauty of the sakura and to taste the best sakés and the finest dishes. The tradition was then adopted by the samurai and then by the people. It was not until the 12th century that this ritual became a bank holiday.


Hanami still celebrated in the modern era


Today, the practice is practised all over the country. In fact, there is an official list of the most famous places to admire the sakura. The flowering starts in the Okinawa archipelago, in the south of the country, and works its way up to Hokkaido.


Click here to read the full article on Luxus Magazine.

Featured photo : © Unsplash

Picture of Pauline Duvieu
Pauline Duvieu
Fashion, hotels, gastronomy, jewelry, beauty, design... Pauline Duvieu is a journalist specializing in luxury and the art of living. Passionate about the high-end spheres that arouse emotion, she loves to describe the creations of the houses and tell the stories of the talents she meets.

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