31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about the Cherry Blossom!

31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about the Cherry Blossom…

Literature, legends and art bloom with FLOWERS, from lovely little nursery rhymes to sophisticated epic poetry and great myths and masterpieces.  Knowing the names of flowers, the references to flowers, the symbols of flowers, the language of flowers gives kids a blooming head start in understanding literature and enhancing literacy.

Each day in May, a FLOWER will be presented here at 31 Days. 31 Flowers – 31 Ways to engage your kids in literature, literacy and life in just a few moments a day. Enjoy!

The CHERRY BLOSSOM – So lovely, so glorious, so transient as it blooms en masse and then passes, welcoming us into its rich symbolism of mortality.

The Cherry Blossom gives us a beautiful glimpse into life itself, and it’s no wonder that people from around the world wait for its blossoms to appear. In Japan, picnicking or partying under a blossoming Cherry Tree is a lovely tradition called Hanami… translation, flower blooming. The trees are decorated with paper lanterns and everyone waits for the first Cherry Blossoms so the great celebration can begin.  The Cherry Blossom itself is often called sakura.

There is also the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. In 1912, the people of Japan sent 3,020 Cherry Trees to the United States as a gift of friendship. First Lady Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador, planted 2 of these Cherry Trees on the northern bank of the Tidal Basin. These two original trees are still standing today near the John Paul Jones statue at the south end of 17th Street. Workmen planted the remainder of the trees around the Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park. Today, there are approximately 3,750 Cherry Trees located around the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, in East Potomac Park (Hains Point), and on the grounds of the Washington Monument.

Head out today with your kids in search of a blossoming Cherry Tree. Why not hang a decorative paper lantern from its branches and celebrate Hanami. If the Cherry Blossoms have passed where you are, draw lovely Cherry Blossoms and hang them in your home… for your own version of Hanami.

Tell your kids about Cherry Blossoms, Hanami, the gift of the Cherry Trees… and how the Cherry Blossom symbolizes LIFE itself. The Cherry Blossom itself may last but a few precious days, but the joy it brings and the history it embodies are immeasurable.

You may try your minds and heart at writing poems to celebrate the Cherry Blossom.  Enjoy the inspiration of these noted Japanese poets…

Temple bells die out.

The fragrant blossoms remain.

A perfect evening!

– Basho

when cherry blossoms
scatter…
no regrets

-Issa

A falling flower, thought I

Fluttering back to the branch

Was a butterfly

– Moritake

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Enjoy each moment of LIFE with your children!

 

 

 

31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about the Cherry Blossom! was last modified: May 31st, 2013 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (2)
  1. I’ve always wanted to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival in D.C. Need to do that one of these years!

  2. What a beautiful end to the series! I love that regardless of the time it spends in blossom, the power behind its bloom will prevail. We were in DE the week after the DC festival- I was sad to have not been able to drive down to enjoy it!

    P.S. I am NOT looking forward to the bugs! Yeesh!

31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about the Cherry Blossom! was last modified: May 31st, 2013 by Sharon Couto