【 さくらの日 (sakura no hi) 】Day of the Cherry Blossom
March 27th is「さくらの日」the Day of the Cherry Blossom.
This day, the peak of cherry blossom season was established with a 語呂合わせ (goroawase) a play on words with 3 (さ) x 9 (く) = 27 to celebrate and appreciate the flower.
Why is 桜 (さくら) the cherry blossom such a significant flower in Japan?
The etymology of さくら is that in old Japanese,
「さ」means “god of rice fields”
「くら」is a place where the gods reside.
Therefore, in the earlier days, people believed that the cherry blossom tree is where the god of rice fields reside.
Originally, 花見 (hanami), to have a banquet under the cherry blossom tree, was a religious festival to pray for a good harvest.
It wasn’t until the Edo period that it became a recreational event for the common. (The Tokugawa government promoted it as a way of distracting common folk during troubled, rough times.)
Cherry blossoms bloom and fall in a short period. How they come and go, their elegance and transience are often associated with the samurai spirit.