Image via Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Sakura Matsuri Returns to Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The annual Cherry Blossom Festival is a highlight on the New York City events calendar.

It’s that time of year again: Sakura Matsuri– the best way to celebrate cherry blossom trees in New York City– will return to Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29 from 10 AM to 6 PM.

Tickets are available here.

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Photo: Andreana Bitsis

The event, which has been dubbed New York City’s official rite of spring, is now in its 37th year. In addition to offering eye-popping displays of gorgeous cherry blossom trees, the festival doubles as a celebration of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture, featuring everything from Japanese food and cosplay characters to Japanese music and picnic-style hanami, also known as “cherry blossom viewing.”

The Japanese tradition of Sakura represents an annual celebration and appreciation of the fleeting beauty of nature, which is seen in Japanese culture as a metaphor for life. There’s never a better time to appreciate the beauty in our midst, the suggestion goes, because before long it will be gone.

Often regarded as one of the most spectacular displays of cherry blossoms in the world, the Botanic Garden’s collection of over 200 flowering cherry trees draws people from across the globe.

Courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Cherry blossom festivals occur all over the world– in Japan, where cherry blossoms are native– but the celebration also takes place in the United States, and has a growing international appeal. Each celebration has its own character, unique to the community and country where it takes place.

In between the rows of cherry blossoms along the esplanade, visitors can expect a stage featuring several musical acts and performers throughout the day.

In the Osborne Garden, booths are set up to offer everything from books to manga workshops to seasonal Japanese confections. (And yes, you can eat cherry blossoms.) Tours are also open to visitors who want to gain a more nuanced understanding of the petals that rain like snow aloft.

Along the trellises, the wisteria will soon begin to fill out, just as the peonies grow heavy and lush, vibrant against their dark leaves. Tulips planted near the entrance and azaleas in neat beds both add to extravagant pinks and pastels on display. The entire park will be honoring the occasion. We can’t think of a more fitting way to celebrate spring!

For more information, visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s website.

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