|Visitors enjoying cherry blossoms at BBG’s Sakura Matsuri. Photo by Liz Ligon. Courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
It’s that time of the year when you get four seasons in one day, and the spectacle of cherry blossoms in full bloom! Sakura Matsuri is Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s cherry blossom festival, and the largest event held in a U.S. public garden. New York’s rite of spring returns this Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and April 30, to celebrate the 36th edition of this celebrated festival.
Following the Japanese tradition, this event marks the start of the hanami season, which means the “cherry blossom viewing” weeks. Based on the Japanese tradition of appreciating the beauty of nature and the value of living in the present time (a.k.a. mindfulness), watching cherry blossoms is one of my favorite slow living activities because it allows me to rejoice in the wonders of spring despite the crazy weather that comes with April showers.
So, what can you expect from the Sakura Matsuri 2017 celebration?
|Members of BBG’s Parasol Society. Photo by Liz Ligon. Courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
This exhibit extends beyond the flowering trees to celebrate both traditional and contemporary Japanese culture with over 60 performances, demonstrations, exhibits, and culinary venues. Martial arts, a hats procession, and a true tea ceremony live and breathe hand-in-hand with contemporary culture exhibits that include manga arts, the latest take in chocolate confections, and even cosplayers. It is indeed a great way to get a taste of how traditions and vanguardism are an inextricable part of the Japanese culture.
|Yuzu’s Dream featuring Akim Funk Buddha. Photo by Julie Markes. Courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
The Garden’s annual cherry display is tracked on bbg.org’s CherryWatch page, which maps the main cherry collection and provides up-to-the-petal updates on each tree’s blooming status.
|Taiko Masala Drumming for Families Workshop at Sakura Matsuri. Photo by Julie Markes. Courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
I cannot advise you enough that you book your tickets in advance as this is one of the hottest activities in town this weekend. Admission is $30 for adults, $25 for students (ages 12 to 17) and seniors. Garden members and children under 12 can enter for free.
To purchase your tickets and access the full event schedule, visit bbg.org/sakura.