There are more than 600 varieties of sakura in Japan, the most popular variety is the Somei-yoshino (染井吉野)
Somei-yoshino (染井吉野) was largely cultivated during the Edo Period. Its blossoms have 5 petals and are mainly white with a tinge of pink, which makes it especially spectacular during its peak blooming period.
Most sakura have 5 petals but some varieties can have up to around 100 petals
Sakura with 5 petals are called hitoezakura (一重桜). Those with 5 to 10 petals are called hanyaezakura (半八重桜). Those with more than 10 petals are called yaezakura (八重桜) or double-layer cherry blossoms. There are varieties with more than 100 petals such as Kikuzakura Cherry Trees actually resembles chrysanthemum flowers. ♡〜٩( ˃́▿˂̀ )۶〜♡
The life span of sakura is around a week
From its first bloom, sakura’s petals fall down bit by bit. Sakura’s life span is only around a week. It is a taboo to pick sakura as everyone wants the blossoms to stay as long as possible.
Hanami (cherry blossom viewing) party is a popular activity in Japan to appreciate sakura.
People with gather their friends and family for a picnic at a hanami spot such as park during this period. Hanami actually means “flower viewing” in Japanese. But as it is mainly for cherry blossoms in Japan nowadays, this term is widely understood as cherry blossom viewing. In old times, hanami can also be for plum trees. All in all, hanami is not only a daytime activity, as night sakura (yozakura 夜桜) is equally spectaculous.
Sakura is an unofficial national flower of Japan
There is no official national flower in Japan. Some say the national flower of Japan is the chrysanthemum, which has long been a symbol of the Japanese Imperial Family. However, others say that sakura (cherry blossom) is the national flower because it is loved by Japanese and it has symbolised the culture of Japan.
Sakura petals have symbolised Japanese warriors or samurai
According to Japanese cultural traditions, a warrior should live passionately and die young. Falling sakura petals represent the reincarnated souls of warriors who fell in battle.
27th March is the official “Sakura Day” in Japan
This was decided based on the word sakura in 1992. The date is set by multiplying the first two syllables: SA=3; KU=9, 3×9=27, and as March is the month of the beginning month of Cherry Blossom, 27th March was officially set as the Sakura Day in Japan. ( ˭̵̵̵̵͈́◡˭̵̵̵͈̀ )ˉ̞̭♡
Sakura is the ingredient of a wide variety of food and beverages. During the sakura period, the sakura products start emerging in all kind of stores in Japan.
Sakura symbolises the beauty and fragility of life.
It also symbolises the arrival of spring, the honour of a lost loved one, love, wisdom and the path of enlightenment.
Sakura is used as names for girls in Japan
It was rarely used as a name before 1990’s owing to the short life span of the sakura and it was seen as a bad omen that the child would die young. However, it became highly fashionable in the 1990’s as it represents the Japanese culture and sounds romantic.
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