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Hanami

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Hanami Bento

Hanami Bento

History About Cherry Blossom Viewing

Hanami is one of the most popular events of Spring. Crowds of people – families, groups of friends, and groups from companies sit under the fully open cherry blossoms, usually on plastic tarps, and have a picnic celebration. The picnic fare consists of a wide variety of foods, snack foods, and sake (rice wine) or other drinks. The activities often include dancing and karaoke in addition to the cherry blossom viewing. In very popular places such as Ueno park and Aoyama Cemetary in Tokyo the competition for prime picnic spots is intense.

Company groups and family members claim spots by arriving very early in the morning and sitting all day long until the real celebrations begin in the evening. It is not unusual to see a young man in a business suit sitting under a cherry tree early in the morning reserving a space for his company. The new employees are traditionally given this job of sitting all day long to reserve space for the company celebration.

In Japan, April is the beginning of the school year as well as the business financial year. Since the Heian Period (794-1185) flower-viewing parties were popular among the aristocracy. In the Azuchi Momoyama Period (1568-1600) the cherry blossom viewing spread out to the rest of the population.

is the hiragana (phonetic) spelling of hanami. Notice the three syllables:

ha – na – mi

This is a map of Japan showing the predictions of when and where the cherry blossoms will appear. Notice the numbers – they correspond to dates. 3.31 is March 31. For the Tokyo area, it is predicted that the cherry blossoms will be blooming between March 28 and March 31.

Cherry buds on March 8 – Cherry buds on March 15 – - – - – Cherry buds on March 23

Cherry buds on March 26 – - – - Almost! March 28 – - – - They’re here . . . March 30

article from http://www.asij.ac.jp/elementary/japan/hanami/hanami.htm

Category: Article