Spring is here!
Today marks the beginning of the 2013 National Cherry Blossom Festival! Have you ever been to Washington D.C. to walk under the umbrella of cherry blossoms that announce the arrival of Spring in our nation’s capital? If you haven’t, it is an unparalleled experience of color, splendor, and poetry set in the most picturesque way with the water and the Memorial in the background.
The gift of more than 3,000 cherry trees from Tokyo to the United States during the Wilson administration in 1912 will forever stand tall with the trees themselves as a symbol of international friendship and beauty. The festival also celebrates the influence of our first ladies, for initiating and perpetuating the growth of this festival through the years, as well as creating year-round events and educational programs that build community strength and spirit.
Have you seen Felix’s brand new designs inspired by the cherry blossom? You can find a set of four illustrations celebrating these simple pink flowers in our personalized Themed Note Cards here.
This year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival will be held from March 20th to April 14th. Here’s Eric Abel’s art that grace’s this year’s festival’s poster. Doesn’t it make you want to go!
The Japanese have been waxing poetic about cherry trees for a long time –
Does anyone know the dwelling place of the wind, scatterer of flowers? Tell me, that I may go there and deliver a complaint.
- Sosei the monk (10th century)
Soaring in white clouds, The cherry trees are in full bloom, Every branch bending with loaded blossoms. But the wind is ceaseless as the peak is lofty, And day after day falls the spring rain; The flowers have scattered from the upper sprays. May the blossoms on the lower branches neither fall nor lose their beauty, Till you, who journey, grass for pillow, Come home again!
-Mushimaro (8th century)
This gathered cherry branch can scarce convey A fancy of the blossom-laden tree: Blooming in sunlight, could I view it there Thoughts of its beauty would drive sleep away.
- Emperor Shomu to his lady love (8th century)
When seeing splendid and beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom, to appreciate the blossoms as beautiful is to know the heart of the thing. When discovering the beauty of the blossoms, we are moved by their beauty. This is mono no aware. … The essence of cherry trees is simply always to appreciate the mono no aware of the blossoms.
-The Tale of Genji (11th century)
Write us a poem, haiku, or prose about your experience with the inspiring flowering cherry tree. Have you seen them in Japan, DC, or are you lucky enough to have one in your yard or nearby park?