Under a Canopy of Cherry Blossoms
There are an estimated 36,000 flowering cherry trees in Vancouver. Each year the city holds a Cherry Blossom Festival with several events such as a Haiku contest, a Bikes & Blossoms Tour, and a photo contest taking place around Vancouver. Other cities with large cherry blossom festivals include San Francisco CA, Macon GA, Washington DC, and Honolulu, HI. The largest and most festive celebrations take place throughout Japan.
Cherry blossoms figure prominently in Japanese culture. The cherry blossom is seen as a symbol of represents the transience of life; it is a very delicate flower that blooms for a very short time and so reflects the teachings of Buddhism that state all life is short and transitory. A falling cherry blossom represents the beauty of snow or a life taken too soon by battle.
In Japan, the flowers are dried and used to make tea. The leaves (sakura leaf or cherry leaf) are used in cooking and medicine to make 'cherry tree rice cake'.
If you are not able to visit the festival, there is another way to bring the cherry blossoms to you. Have a look at these gorgeous painted wooden bangles by amy987.