You don’t need to Japan to witness the beautiful cherry blossoms or more locally, sakura, to bloom during springtime. If you have been obsessed with these seasonal flowers, there’s good news for you. India has it’s very own cherry blossoms in the northeastern state of Meghalaya. You fantasy of laying out a picnic blanket, and enjoying the art of hanami (flower-viewing)has come closer to home. And what do you know, there’s a festival too that celebrates the blooming of these flowers. Also Read - 'Coolest CM': Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma Rocks the Internet With His Rendition Of Iron Maiden's 'Wasted Years' | Watch
Known as the Cherry Blossom Festival, it saw the daylight first in 2016, and has been held every year since in Shillong every November. The Himalayan cherry blossom lights up parts of the East Khasi Hills and state capital Shillong in Meghalaya to mark the beginning of autumn in India. Also Read - Lockdown Eases: This State Will Allow All Shops, Vehicular Movement From Tomorrow
It’s happening from November 14-18; the colours arrived a tad earlier this year. Due to the unpredictable nature of these blooms, they always take people by surprise. However, in Japan, they usually arrive on the street corners during springtime. They’re definitely found most abundantly in Japan; though they’re spotted in other parts of the world too: from Washington DC and Brooklyn in the US to Paris and Spain.
Talking about India, the blooms have already begun dotting Shillong’s wavering landscape, and are ready to be welcomed with a festival in their honour. It’s incredible to note it is the world’s only autumn cherry blossom festival. While you could immerse yourself completely into “flower-viewing”, there are also going to be other events lining the festival. These events have been conceptualised keeping the bloom in mind: there’ll be a Japanese tea ceremony, music concerts, beauty pageants, fashion shows and activities such as sky Diving, a dog show, film screenings, a golf tournament and archery competitions.