Richmond's annual Cherry Blossom Festival is returning in a virtual format to celebrate the arrival of Spring.
This year's festival will take place online with activities and events available to the public starting April 11.
The theme for this year’s festival is hope, or 希望 (Kibou) in Japanese, which represents of the country’s resilience during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Online visitors can explore the Japanese culture through a series of five videos highlighting performances, how-to demonstrations and more.
The virtual tents include:
- The Sakura Tent which features welcome messages from Mayor Brodie, Consul General Takashi Hatori, the Consul General of Japan in Vancouver, the festival directors and original musical performances.
- The Matsuri Tent highlighting a sakura (cherry blossom) themed bento box in honour of the centuries-old tradition of picnicking under cherry trees in bloom.
- The Hanami Tent offering a video introducing the art of calligraphy and origami.
- The Kitsuke Tent providing insights into the different styles of kimono.
- The Kuno Tent focusing on a unique school of ikebana (flower arranging).
“The City of Richmond is the proud home to one of Canada’s largest and oldest communities of Japanese-Canadian immigrants, dating back almost 140 years,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie.
“We are thrilled to be able to celebrate our region’s Japanese heritage through the Richmond Cherry Blossom Festival, and to have the opportunity to share the event to even more people this year with the virtual format.”
Cherry blossoms symbolize a "time of renewal and the cycle of life," according to the City of Richmond.
The festival celebrates the cherry blossom flowers, also known as sakura, which are special flowers to the people of Japan.
Celebrations usually include picnics under the cherry trees with foods and drinks and are shared with friends and family.
Due to COVID-19, the public are reminded to stay socially distanced and follow provincial health orders during this time including keeping outdoor gatherings to the same 10 people and wearing masks when within two-metres of each other.
For event details, visit www.richmondcherryblossomfest.ca