Glossary (Phrase list) >> Hanami

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花見, Cherry blossom viewing

  "Hanami 花見" means "Cherry blossoms viewing", though "Hana" means "flowers".  Why we don't call it Sakura ( cherry blossoms) 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 blossoming.  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 in the clear sky.  That looks like 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 about Hanami.


* Green leaves show the end of blossoming for Someiyoshino, the most standard cherry.  There are some other kinds which have flowers and leaves at the same time.


  HANAMI now in Japan  

   We can explain the current Hanami as "private parties held under the cherry blossoms in the public places".  Each Hanami-party is similer to a picnic, but Hanami sounds like a big national event because so many Japanese groups such as families, 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 flowers!".


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


* Not a few management offices of the park and other facilities tolerate us occupying some area and drinking alcohol.  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 on the bench 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" -Seasonal-








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