Misha Bharti, New Delhi
Have you ever wished to walk under the illuminated cherry blossom trees? The best time to catch a glimpse of these cherry blossoms that paint Korea in pastel pink shades is between late March and mid-April. As they say ‘Spring is surely the best time to visit Korea.’
Cherry blossoms have been associated with purity and beauty. They also correspond to a time when Korea shrugs off the winter chill and re-emerges from hibernation, bearing lovely colours and scents. However, the literal meaning of these blooms may differ in the language of art, literature, and philosophy but the beauty is transcendent. These blooms are a symbol of spring because it is a time of renewal. But because of the short life span of the blooms, they are also symbolic of the fleeting nature of life.
Generally, spring blossoms in Korea start bursting into bloom from the southern part of the country and then moves up to the northern region. They last only for two weeks after the first bloom, and then the fragile fleeting blossoms start to fall.
In Korea, this time is known as the beot-kkot season, although people also use the borrowed Japanese word sakura (meaning cherry blossom). The activity of viewing the cherry blossoms is referred to as hanami. It is a much-anticipated event where friends and families walk and have a picnic together under the sweet fragrance of the cherry blossoms.
There are many places where the flowers bloom, and you can have a visual feast with your rose-tinted lenses. Jeju Island is the earliest to be visited by pink flowers. Hwagae, Gyeongju, and Seoul are three of the other places.
To celebrate the blossoming of the flowers, many festivals are organised around this time in Korea. One of them is the Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival near Busan which is the biggest cherry blossom festival in the country. Apart from it, there are the Gyeongju Cherry Marathon, the Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival, and the Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival. These attract a lot of international visitors as well as locals who wish to go on a trip to capture the fascinating scenery of spring flowers.
After making the trees and the country come alive and banishing the winter gloom, the blossoms fall, one petal at a time, like a shower of pink rain. If you are planning a trip to South Korea, make sure to time your visit to coincide with the arrival of cherry blossoms. We bet you won’t regret watching the pink showers. Watch this video to witness the beauty of Cherry Blossoms in Seoul:
Have you ever visited Korea or watched cherry blossoms? Share your thoughts or experiences with us in the comment section.