I was in my mid teens when Sakura Matsuri started at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Back then, the faces attending were mostly of Japanese origin and they came out in droves to celebrate the blooming cherry blossom flowers and rejoice in the planned Japanese cultural programs and activities.
In recent years, the two-day weekend festival has become more popular and has grown by leaps and bounds attracting people of all races, nationalities and cultures. The impact of its popularity is felt in the buildup of traffic as more and more people come to the borough and as attendees join lines snaking along Washington and Flatbush avenues .Many come dressed in their favorite anime costumes or opt to wearing traditional Japanese kimonos. The mostly open -air outdoors celebration gives those attending a taste of Japan with sword fighting displays, Taiko drumming exhibition, manga artists and much more.
Seeing such an assortments of Japanese culture, food and arts made for a breathtakingly beautiful afternoon spent amongst the cherry blossoms.
For many, myself included, attending the annual Sakura Matsuri festival signals, that Spring has finally sprung.
One of my very best friends, Asako, hails from Japan. I remember talking to her years ago about her country’s most cherished flower and her saying that in Japan they have Sakura Hanami parties throughout the country . Getting dressed up in cultural garb like a Kimono and attending Cherry blossom viewing she says is a serious thing there, where the blooming flowers are watched carefully and celebrated by all.
I am most proud that this festival occurs in my Crown Heights neighborhood with the BBG being a hop, skip and a jump from my doorsteps.My kids especially got a blast seeing all the beautiful flowers in bloom in an assortment of colors. Taking in the festival this past weekend was a joy from seeing the many families in attendance to seeing the festival goers decked out in traditional Kimonos and others in their favorite Japanese inspired costumes. The $25 admittance fee definitely was worth every penny .
Crownheightmom.com is definitely looking forward to next year’s festival.