Adorageek’s note on current situation:
Adorageek acknowledges that we are in a trying times with the Covid-19 outbreak. However, we at Adorageek are firm believers that there are still moments and events in the wide world worth celebrating. We just have to change the way we are celebrating them. Therefore, Adorageek will continue to share those celebrations with you, in the hopes that in the near future, we can celebrate those moments and events again just like in the good times.
Hanami, meaning flower viewing, is a Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of Sakura, the renowned Japanese cherry blossom. From the middle of March to end of April, sakura tree will bloom all over Japan, and will last only for a week or two. That is why the sakura-zensen or blossom forecast announced each year by the weather bureau is watched carefully by Japanese people.
The Hanami tradition was said to be centuries old, and was started by the Emperor Saga of the Heian period in Japan (794-1185). The Emperor would held flower-viewing parties with sake and feasts under the blossoming sakura trees in the Imperial Court in Kyoto. Initially Hanami could only be enjoyed by the elites of the Imperial Court, but soon the tradition spread to the samurai society and even to the common people.
During Hanami, Japanese people will go to parks to have picnics or feasts under the sakura trees. They will eat special dishes such as dango (Japanese dumpling) or bento (home-packed meal), and drink sake, Japanese rice wine. Afterwards they will play music or listen to it. To get the best Hanami spots, Japanese people often have to “book” the spots by being in the park hours even days before. Hanami could last until late night, and it is called yozakura or night sakura. In many places such as Ueno Park, temporary paper lanterns are hung for the purpose of yozakura. Hanami is also celebrated, in smaller scale, in Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, and China. And even in the United States and the European countries, where sakura trees are donated by Japan to be planted there.
However, due to recent outbreak of Covid-19, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has called on people to refrain from holding sakura-viewing parties in parks and along rivers banks managed by the metropolitan government in order to help prevent the spread of the disease.
You could still share the spirit of Hanami by enjoying the spring around you. Go with families or friends to the nearest park and enjoy the flowers there! You could also play music or games, or simply enjoying the sun. If there are other musicians in the park, you could also appreciate them by listening to their music!
Just remember to implement Covid-19 prevention by social-distancing, covering your mouth and nose whenever you cough or sneeze, not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean, and washing your hands regularly with soap and water, especially after going outside or to public places!