The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia
Whether it’s enjoying the fragile pink blossoms of 1,000 cherry trees, listening to the thundering beat of a giant Taiko drum, creating origami masterpieces or honing your sushi-making skills, the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia is the place to celebrate all things Japanese.
The centuries-old tradition of Sakura Matsuri, or Cherry Blossom Festival, takes place throughout Philadelphia and includes ceremonial drumming, martial arts exhibitions, a traditional tea ceremony, origami demonstrations, Japanese movies and a special sushi-making presentation, which features nationally recognized master sushi chefs from Japan.
Most events are free and offer something for every age to enjoy.
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.
Locations vary, but some of the best places to see the cherry blossoms are in Fairmount Park along Kelly Drive and near the Japanese House and Garden.
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.
Event listings, performance schedules and ticket information are available here.
Cherry trees beautify the city landscape, improve our air and water quality, absorb pollutants and provide numerous other environmental benefits. You can sponsor the purchase and planting of a new cherry tree through the Japanese Society of Greater Philadelphia.