The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia
A spring celebration of the culture, craft and cuisine of Japan
April 1-9, 2017
Sakura Sunday Festival: April 9, 2017
Whether it’s admiring the fragile pink blossoms of 1,000 cherry trees, participating in origami-making and sushi-making classes or enjoying martial arts performances, the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia is the time to celebrate all things Japanese while enjoying the delights of spring.
The centuries-old tradition of Sakura Matsuri, or Cherry Blossom Festival, takes place throughout Philadelphia with events that include ceremonial drumming, a traditional tea ceremony, dancing, live music, a fashion show and more.
Admission to most events are free. “Sakura Sunday” concludes the festival, a day-long celebration of Japanese culture and cherry blossoms held in West Fairmount Park. Admission costs $15 per ticket, and children 12-years-old and under are free.
The Festival continues a legacy established in 1926 when the Japanese government donated cherry trees to Philadelphia in honor of the Sesquicentennial of American Independence.
Each year, the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival culminates with Sakura Sunday, the grand finale of events set for Sunday, April 9 of this year. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., a celebration of Japanese culture takes over Philadelphia’s Horticulture Center in West Fairmount Park (near Montgomery Drive and Belmont Avenue).
The festival features live music and dance performances, martial arts and tea ceremony demonstrations, a fashion show, cosplay showcase, sushi making contest, pet parade and more.
A plethora of Japanese eats will also be served up, including curry bowls, takoyaki and gourmet chocolates, so be sure to show up hungry.
Tickets are $15 per person and are free to children 12 years old and under, and include both festival admission and a free timed tour of the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden during Sakura Sunday.
Cherry blossoms have deep significance in Japanese culture and are a traditional motif in art, literature and cuisine. As Japan’s national flower it is sometimes offered as a symbol of friendship to other nations. In traditional Japan, the time of ohanami, or viewing of the ephemeral cherry blossoms, was said to remind one of the paradoxically fleeting yet enduring nature of life.
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