【 さくらの日 (sakura no hi) 】Day of Cherry Blossom
March 27th is「さくらの日」the Day of 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 deepen our appreciation for the flower.
Do you know why 桜 (さくら) is such a significant flower in Japan?
The etymology of さくら is:
「さ」means “god of rice fields”
「くら」is a place where the gods reside,
hence from the old times, it was 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 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.
Speaking of cherry blossoms and hanami, check out our Hanami Picnic video series — learn some useful everyday phrases along with “cherry blossom” vocabulary!
Happy Spring, Happy Hanami-ing!