‘Hanami’ literally “flower viewing” is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers. ‘Hana’ means flower and ‘mi’ means ‘viewing’. Mostly referring to the cherry blossom from the sakura tree. Less well-known is ‘umami’ – enjoying the plum blossom; ‘ume’ means plum’.
Honoring renewal and transient beauty
Composing poems and making offerings to the cherry blossoms is a more than thousand year tradition in Japan: honoring renewal and transient beauty. The closing ceremony takes place under the trees and is celebrated with Saké – Japanese rice wine – and lovely snacks.
Hanamisatsuri – Cherrry Blossom Festival
On Saturday April 9 2106 I visited the annual Cherry Blossom Festival in the Amsterdamse Bos near Amstelveen in the Netherlands, the hanamisatsuri. With music performances, Japanese snacks, a rich variation of Japanese cultural specialities. Under the trees a multicultural picnic in traditional and modern style!