The Sakura, as the Japanese refer to it, or Prunus serrulata, is an ornamental cherry tree that does not bear fruit. The flowers bloom simultaneously and that’s when the magic happens –– a mind-blowing masterpiece of nature, all dressed in pink. But only for about two weeks and then the show is over. Spring winds bring a flurry of pink petals and creamy carpets of fallen blooms. And just as quickly as they arrived, the blossoms are gone.
The cherry blossoms’ brief bloom symbolize the fragility, shortness, and beauty of life. Quintessentially Japanese, much of the world celebrates the beginning of spring underneath the Sakura in festivals from Okazaki, Japan to Washington D.C., from Bonn, Germany to Stockholm, Sweden, from Paris to Portland. The world is mad about cherry blossoms. And so are we.