Glossary (Phrase list) >> Hanami

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Hanami 花見


  "Hanami 花見" refers to Cherry-blossom-viewing, though "Hana" literally means flowers.

  Why we don't call it Cherry-blossom-viewing?  We assume that it comes from the cultural history.


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  HANAMI phases  


  Why is Hanami so lively in Japan?


  Cherry flowers last for just 2 weeks at most once they blossom.  That's why we react overly to them every year as the ancient people did.


  Usually a windy day comes during that period and shortens the blossoming period.

  Ironically the end by the wind is one of the best viewing moments because we can enjoy Hanafubuki (shower of petals).  It is fantastic to see Hanafubuki if it occurs under the beautiful blue sky.  That looks a curtain call, but flowers will not show until the next spring.  Instead, green leaves come out.


  Start of blossoming, full blossom, Hanafubuki are the events that we talk lively about Hanami.


* "Hanami" and "Sakura" are generally spoken to the most standard type called Someiyoshino めいよしの cherry trees.

  Introduction of the cherry blossoms here is also based on that kind that blooms from late March to early April.

  Some other kinds which open flowers in February, such as Kawazu Sakura 河津桜 and Tamanawa Sakura 縄桜 are not included.


  HANAMI now in Japan  

  We can explain the current Hanami as "private parties held under the cherry blossoms".  Each Hanami-party is similer to a picnic, but Hanami sounds like a big national event because so many Japanese groups such as familiy, friends, workmates hold their parties simultaneously everywhere in the country.


  Hanami is not a national holiday nor an event held by a promoter.  It's not any anniversary, either.  Nevertheless almost all Japanese become lively over one natural phenomenon saying "Cherry trees have begun opening their flowers!".


* Surely, there are Hanami festivals held by promoters, but majority are the private partie as they are reported on TV news.


* Not a few management offices of the park and other facilities tolerate us occupying some areas and drinking alcohol even though we are in the public places.  Some of them kindly illuminate flowers at night.  They are special for Hanami.

(It does not mean that all park and facilities do that.)


* Besides the big Hanami-parties, we also enjoy Light-Hanami, for example, to enjoy lunch in the park and back to work.


  All general rules, for example, "Take your own garbage back home even some extra trash boxes are placed" should be kept as usual.

  The highest priority is always put on "No inconvenience to the neighboring residents" in any residential area.

  Regrettably, there are some Japanese who don't keep manners.  If you see those people mentioning Hanami as excuse, please note that any act of too broad interpretationt conveniently by the name of Hanami is wrong.


Related Page:

"Cherry blossoms status report -Seasonal-

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