Cherry Blossom Season - A Great Time for a Family Picnic!



Each year I notice, without planning or forward thinking: the week (or sometimes two) when the cherry blossoms bloom in their prime and beg to be appreciated.

As I'm driving around town, I find myself looking out for streets on my route which are lined with these beautiful trees and wishing our house was among them.

So what is the significance and appeal of the yearly sakura, and why is it such a great time for picnics?

In Japan, crowds flock for "Hanami" - the practise of picnicing under the blossoms of cherry trees. A tradition imported from China which began during the Nara period (710-994 AD).

At first, the blossoms were appreciated for their beauty, but with time the brief brilliance and swift death of the delicate flowers became associated with mortality and the fleeting time of our lives on this earth.

For me (and probably for many others), the peak of cherry blossoming signifies the onset of spring and impending warm weather. After a long hard winter, it's not only refreshing but relieving to see those delicate petals (and later, for the ground to be covered by a shower of white or pink.

To sit under the blossoms is as good a reason as any to plan a family picnic. Does your local park have an avenue of blossom trees with room beneath to lay down a blanket? Perhaps you're lucky enough to have a display of petals in your own back garden? In either case, if you have nothing else planned for this weekend I hope it could be something you'd enjoy.