TORRANCE, Calif.—The 2022 Cherry Blossom Festival will return to the City of Torrance on Sunday, April 3, to celebrate the blooming of the cherry blossom trees with South Bay residents after two years of pandemic hiatus.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., cherry blossom enthusiasts can appreciate the flower at Columbia Park on 190th Street while enjoying food, music, and live performances.
“The City of Torrance strives to provide community events that welcome our whole community for shared experiences for enrichment, learning and unity,” said John La Rock, the Community Service Director of Torrance.
“The festival is an opportunity to celebrate the cultural diversity that makes our community unique and to do so in a relaxing, engaging park environment.”
The event will feature over 40 vendors selling handmade crafts, foods, and artworks, along with multivariable cultural performances including Pan-Asian dancers and Taiko Drummers. Additionally, kids can participate in origami folding and face painting. Admission is free.
The annual cherry blossom festival was first started in 2012 in Torrance—one of the cities in Los Angeles County that have the most Japanese population—as a part of the city’s centennial celebration.
The event is sponsored by the City of Torrance, Soka Gakkai International, the Torrance Sister City Association, North Torrance Homeowner’s Association, and Torrance Craftsmen’s Guild.
The Origin of Cherry Blossom Festival
Cherry Blossom Festival, also known as Hanami, is a traditional celebration of spring in Japan. The peak bloom dates are between late March and mid-April. The flower appreciation activities often last a few days or even several weeks depending on the location.
During the blooming season, people sit under the cherry trees and enjoy traditional food, drinks, and the beauty of sakura. It is also a common sight to see ladies wearing kimono, a traditional Japanese costume, at the festivals.
The cherry blossom viewing can be traced back to over a thousand years ago, and the flower has become an essential element in Japanese culture and history.
Japanese people believe that cherry blossom represents “the fragility and the beauty of life,” and see its reoccurring blooming as a manifestation of hope and new life, according to the Upgraded Points travel guide.
Outside of Japan, the cherry blossom festival is also celebrated annually in Washington, D.C.—where 3000 cherry trees gifted by the Mayor of Tokyo in 1912 bloom in springtime, according to a guide by Washington.org—to commemorate the friendship between the U.S. and Japan, with this year’s event running from March 20 to April 17.