On the fourth day of the Lunar New Year, my family and I headed up to Wulai to catch the cherry blossom. It was kind of late since the flower mostly bloomed about two weeks ago, but nevertheless Mother Nature has been good to us and we managed to catch some.
Wulai is a mountainous area in New Taipei City famous for its hot springs. But it’s also famous for its cherry blossoms as my parents insisted on driving up there to enjoy the pink and white blossoms.
The Japanese call cherry blossom sakura and it is a tradition that they have picnics and drink sake underneath the cherry trees when they are in full bloom. The Japanese people call the tradition hanami which literally translates into flower watching.
As the cherry blossom originates mostly from Japan, usually it means that the Japanese somehow brought the seedlings to other countries and cultivated them there. Since the flower often blooms and then dies within a week, it is often associated with mortality for its extreme beauty and quick death. The cherry blossom has such great symbolism that it is depicted on the face of 100 Japanese yen coins.