It’s Sakura Matsuri time again! And that means hanami, the act of going out and admiring cherry blossoms. The most famous hanami hotspot in America is the National Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s going on now in Washington, DC, and the blossoms are said to reach their peak this weekend. With clear skies and temperatures in the high 50s Saturday and high 60s Sunday, it’s a great weekend to visit DC! The annual spring event celebrates the gift of Japanese cherry trees from Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki to the city of Washington, DC. (Back in 1912!) More »
There is more Ghostie Goodness related to the summer season, the ghost festivals of Asia are the Halloween equivalent times ten. Here are some more of these wonderful frightful festivals that go on during the summer nights. Baekjung is the Korean version of the Buddhist All Souls Day or Ullambana. Traditionally to celebrate people perform ceremonial rites to honor heaven and those whom have passed. Samsung-dong, Seoul, thousands of lanterns are hung during the eve of Baekjung in Bongeun Temple. Those regard this day as the second most important holiday after Buddha’s Birthday.
Ullambana evolved in Vietnam, instead of just lumping ghosts together into one festival it became the holiday Vu Lan and the festival Tet Trung Nguyen. Vu Lan is also a day to honor parents not just ancestors and wayward ghosts. What is even more interesting is Vu Lan is considered Vietnamese mothers day, a children when wear roses to show thanks to their mothers. Red roses are those for those with living mothers and white roses are for mothers that passed away. More »
Autumn in the western world is a perfect setting for all things spooky. As the trees change color, cool breezes make leaves fall to the ground, the sun sets at a earlier time and things just get darker a lot sooner. A fairly large global percent celebrates these seasonal days, of October 31st to November 2nd, for those who have passed on to the world beyond. Halloween (All Hallows Eve), All Saints Day, and then All Souls Day, also known as The Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos), are celebrated in America, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Philippines and even in Africa. More »