Virtual Cherry Blossom Festival 2021
Sadly, as in 2020, we are unable to have a cherry blossom festival in person this year. However, we are posting some pre-recorded content featuring a few of our favorite festival activities. Check here starting 4/10! Here's a short intro greeting from Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez.
As Mayor Donchez points out, although we can't gather for a group celebration this year, the blossoms are open for business this week and can safely be enjoyed in the outdoors! The trees are best enjoyed with a homemade picnic lunch, or takeout from one of our local Japanese restaurants, such as The Other Fish, 24 East, Rakkii Ramen, and Kumo Sushi!
One of our top sellers at the festival grill station is homemade onigiri. These traditional hand-shaped rice balls are easy to make at home if you just follow these instructions. Pack a few to munch on for an outdoor snack as the petals fall gracefully around you.
The festival takes place around the time our sakura (cherry blossom) trees surrounding city hall are in bloom, which historically occurs in early to mid April. We try to schedule the festival for the second or third Saturday of the month. At our festival, you can:
Participate in a tea ceremony
Try your hand at the ancient art of calligraphy
Create Japanese origami
Sample some great Japanese festival food
Pound rice into a sweet treat with a giant wooden mallet
Have your picture taken in a kimono or yukata
We hope to once again have Shumei of America attend our Festival and bring their taiko drumming group from the Shumei center in Lyons Station, PA. Their thundering Japanese drums were a smash hit last year and we sincerely hope to have them with us again in the future! Check out their Facebook page for more info if you want to play Japanese taiko drums, or if have an interest in natural agriculture or spiritual healing:
Stop by to enjoy these activities and experience Japanese culture! Be sure to check your local paper or this website for announcements about the next festival.