cherry blossom meaning

Cherry Blossom Flower Meaning and Pretty Symbolism

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If you’re looking for a guide to cherry blossom meanings, you’ve come to the right place. 

Cherry blossom symbolism represents spring – a time of renewal. They can also represent the fleeting nature of life, since their blooming season is so short-lived. Although the beauty of cherry blossom flowers will no doubt take your breath away, you’ll find that these blossoms sadly die back after just two weeks.

What Are Cherry Blossoms?

Cherry blossoms, also known as “sakura” in Japan, are tiny pink flowers that are produced by the cherry blossom tree.

Cherry blossoms bloom in the spring and produce quite the spectacle, offering a brief bloom that lasts only two weeks. 

These flowers are native to Asia and can be found on cherry blossom trees growing in South Korea, India, and China. However, they have been brought all over the world and can be found growing in many other countries as well.

Cherry blossoms are flowers of sakura trees in the genus Prunus. Sakura trees are now grown around the world but are most common – and have a long history – in Japan.

What Do Cherry Blossoms Symbolize?

In China, cherry blossoms represent love and the female mystique of strength, sexuality, and beauty.

In Japan, the flowers are most cherished and even became their national flower, with the blossoms found in all aspects of Japanese culture, from film to poetry and even paintings.

They also represent the fragility and transience of life. They tie closely into Buddhist themes of mindfulness, mortality, and living in the present.

Many Japanese people believe that cherry blossoms are metaphors for human existence – after all, their bloom time is only fleeting.

sakura meaning
Pink cherry blossoms by RiO75/pixabay

Cherry Blossom Trees (Sakura) Meaning in Japan

In Japan, cherry blossoms have special meaning. Here, the sakura tree is renowned and viewed as a symbol of good times. When cherry blossoms are in bloom, people will celebrate, hosting “cherry blossom parties” with friends and colleagues. 

This custom, known as “hanami,” can be traced back to more than a thousand years and literally means “watching blossoms.” This ritual has deep cultural and religious roots. 

Japanese gather under the trees every April, celebrating new beginnings and the upcoming year – which should be promising and bright. 

The fiscal and school years in Japan both begin in April, which is the cherry blossom season also known as the season of the “sakura flower.” Japanese cherry blossoms represent a fresh start and are celebrated all throughout the country.

Japanese cherry blossoms are also tied closely to “bushido,” or “the way of the warrior.” This moral code was followed by samurai, feudal Japan’s ancient warriors, known for their moral code and suicide missions. This code required respect, discipline, and honor. 

Fallen petals from Japanese cherry blossoms were believed to symbolize the end of the samurais’ lives. In World War II, the blossoms held a similar meaning, as Japanese pilots painted their warplanes with the imagery before embarking on their missions.

Cherry blossoms also symbolize renewal here. This meaning has held on, with its first origins around 710 (long before the rise of feudal Japan). It represented the mountain deities and signified agricultural success.

As one of the most beautiful spring flowers, they represent the beginning of spring, a time of renewal and hopes for a productive growing year. Flower viewing in Japan is a popular pasttime, particularly when it comes to these flowers, as it indicates fleeting life and the beginning of spring.

Is it any surprise that the cherry blossom if Japan’s natural flower? These iconic flowers have earned their reputation, to say the very least.

Cherry Blossom Tree Meaning in the United States

It’s not just Japan where the elusive flowers of the cherry tree are prized. In fact, these flowers are a cultural icon, revered worldwide for their delicate nature and deep symbolism.

Here in the United States, the cherry blossom tree takes on a different meaning. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see dozens of cherry blossom trees lining the street, so it may make you wonder what blooming cherry blossoms symbolize here in the USA!

In 1912, Japan gave more than three thousand cherry trees to Washington D.C. in an effort to restore friendship and political alliances. The cherry trees trees were planted by Helen Terron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, the wife of the Japanese ambassador. 

Today, these cherry trees are commemorated each year at Washington D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, typically in mid March. At this time, thousands of spectators come to the city to watch the cherry tree blossom into shades of pink and white flowers when they’re in full bloom along the Potomac River.

Of course, there are plenty of events that go on during this festival, too. 

In the United States, cherry blossoms are still viewed as symbols of tranquility and peace. 

What Does a Cherry Blossom Tattoo Symbolize?

A cherry blossom tattoo symbolizes fresh starts, new life, and a strict moral code. Many people choose cherry blossom tattoos to commemorate their loved ones or to celebrate something new.

These tattoos represent the ephemeral nature of our existence along with the delicate beauty of new beginnings. 

Cherry blossom tattoos are just as entrenched with symbolism as the cherry blossoms themselves!

So what do you think – are you ready to see everything these pink flowers have to offer?

Plant a cherry tree in your yard, and you can enjoy the breathtaking beauty of cherry blossoms each and every year.

Up Next: Cherry Blossom Bonsai

Photo by imagebrokermicrostock/depositphotos

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