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14 striking pictures show cherry blossoms in bloom - and people around the world admiring their beauty

14 striking pictures show cherry blossoms in bloom - and people around the world admiring their beauty
  • Cherry blossoms reach peak bloom around the world in the spring.
  • Photos show people admiring the flowers in Tokyo, Japan, Washington, DC, and other cities.
  • The blossoming cherry trees could be enjoyed as a symbol of hope, even in times of loss around the world.

Each spring, cherry trees bloom in many corners of the world.

Each spring, cherry trees bloom in many corners of the world.
A man poses his dog in front of cherry blossoms at Inokashira Park in Tokyo on March 30. PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images

The trees often reach their peak bloom between March and April, and sometimes extend until May.

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In the Japanese language and culture, viewing the cherry blossoms is known as "hanami."

In the Japanese language and culture, viewing the cherry blossoms is known as "hanami."
People look at cherry blossoms in Gifu Prefecture, Japan, March 29. Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The significance of the blossoming cherry trees in Japan has evolved over time.

Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, a Japanese-American anthropologist, told PBS that the cherry blossom, or sakura, has been a symbol of "the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, on the one hand, and of productive and reproductive powers, on the other" throughout Japan's history.

The tradition of viewing the cherry blossoms is known as "hanami" in Japanese, as the National Park Service stated on its website about the Washington, DC, Cherry Blossom Festival.

Today, cherry trees planted all over the world come to life in the spring.

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All around the world, people have carried on the tradition of admiring the blossoms.

All around the world, people have carried on the tradition of admiring the blossoms.
A visitor walks under cherry blossoms in Harrogate, North Yorkshirie. Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images

Part of the Japanese tradition of "hanami" — viewing the cherry trees — can involve having a picnic under the blossoming plants.

But simply walking around and under the pink plants is an activity many have taken part in so far this spring.

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Bonn, Germany, is one city that's known for its streets in the springtime.

Bonn, Germany, is one city that's known for its streets in the springtime.
People pose under blooming cherry trees at the Heerstrasse street in Bonn, western Germany on April 9. INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Bonn's Altstadt, or Old Town, has famous blossom-lined streets.

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The former German capital has hundreds of cherry blossom trees that were planted in the 1980s.

The former German capital has hundreds of cherry blossom trees that were planted in the 1980s.
A person takes pictures in Old Town (Altstadt) on April 21 in Bonn, Germany. Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

According to the German media company Deutsche Welle, in the 1980s, the city of Bonn planned to plant hawthorn trees but improvised and opted for cherry trees, instead.

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Vilnius, Lithuania, has a collection of cherry blossom trees that were a gift from the Japanese government.

Vilnius, Lithuania, has a collection of cherry blossom trees that were a gift from the Japanese government.
A woman enjoys cherry blossoms at a park in Vilnius, Lithuania, on May 1. Xinhua/Alfredas Pliadis via Getty Images

Some 200 Japanese Sakura trees were given to the city of Vilnius, Lithuania, and planted in Chiune Sugihara Sakura Park as a gift from the Japanese government in 2001.

The trees commemorate the Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who helped thousands of Jews from Lithuania, Poland, and Germany, escape the Holocaust by issuing them visas to Japanese territories during World War II.

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Some areas in Japan saw some of the earliest cherry blossom blooms in history.

Some areas in Japan saw some of the earliest cherry blossom blooms in history.
People ride a boat looking at cherry blossoms at Inokashira Park in Tokyo on March 30. PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images

Cherry blossom trees in Kyoto, Japan, reached their peak on March 26. Tokyo also had an earlier-than-usual peak time for cherry trees on March 22.

It was the earliest peak date since the Japan Meteorological Agency first started collecting data in 1953, according to the Associated Press.

Experts said that the early bloom date was a result of the climate crisis.

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The Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, also saw cherry trees reach their peak bloom in late March.

The Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, also saw cherry trees reach their peak bloom in late March.
Members of the National Guard stand under blooming Japanese cherry blossom trees along the Tidal Basin in Washington on March 29. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

According to the National Park Service, the city's Yoshino Cherry blossoms reached their peak — when 70% of the flowers opened up — on March 28.

Photos from late March and early April show people gathered at the Tidal Basin in the capital city to see the trees in bloom.

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Cherry trees in Washington, DC, originated as a gift from the citizens of Japan in the 1910s.

Cherry trees in Washington, DC, originated as a gift from the citizens of Japan in the 1910s.
People view cherry blossoms in Washington, DC, on March 29. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Tidal Basin is home to thousands of Yoshino Cherry trees that were planted as a gift from citizens of Japan in 1912 as a symbol of diplomacy.

The project was put into place by then-first lady Helen Taft, who took inspiration from the colorful trees she saw in Tokyo and proposed the idea for a cherry blossom-lined walkway in DC.

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Toronto, Canada, also has troves of cherry blossoms.

Toronto, Canada, also has troves of cherry blossoms.
Cherry blossoms in Toronto on April 28. Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first Japanese Yoshino Cherry tree was planted in Toronto's High Park in 1959 as a present from the citizens of Tokyo.

Other cherry trees have been planted in the Toronto park and other spots in the city since then.

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New York City saw many of the pink-hued trees bloom in April.

New York City saw many of the pink-hued trees bloom in April.
A painting and cherry blossoms are seen at Central Park on April 13. Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images

There are several types of cherry trees, and their blossoms give off different colors, ranging from bright pink to a fainter white hue.

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This year, people around the world were captured on camera admiring the colorful trees.

This year, people around the world were captured on camera admiring the colorful trees.
People take a selfie in front of blooming cherry blossom trees in Berlin on May 2. Xinhua/Shan Yuqi via Getty Images

Some people were photographed taking strolls and riding bikes underneath blooming cherry trees.

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More than a year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pastel plants can be seen as a symbol of renewal.

More than a year after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pastel plants can be seen as a symbol of renewal.
People pose by cherry blossom trees in Budapest, Hungary, on April 23. Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images

In 2020, cherry blossoms bloomed in empty parks and gardens normally filled with people gathering to take pictures and admire the plants.

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The pink trees are nothing short of breathtaking.

The pink trees are nothing short of breathtaking.
People in Greenwich Park, London, take a photo on April 29. Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

Each year's cherry blossom season, also known as sakura season, can be enjoyed as a sign of hope, even in times of loss around the world.

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