Monday, April 20, 2009

Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival

Yesterday a group of us went up to Seattle to the Cherry Blossom Festival. It is an annual festival to celebrate the blooming of the cherry blossoms and to share Japanese cultural arts.

Before heading out we stopped by a local Tully's coffee bar to get espresso. Yum! This Tully's had a painting of a man on the outside wall of the building. We decided to take funny pictures with the man. Here is Nicole (sister) and Dakota (daughter of sister's boyfriend) posing with the gentleman.
We drove up to Seattle Center where the festival was taking place in the shadow of the space needle. Unfortunately the cherry blossoms had already lost their blooms.. We did wonder the area and watched many events.
There were martial arts demonstrations, singing and dance, tea ceremony, etc. There were also many booths displaying Japanese arts. There were children's activities such as origami, and practicing caligraphy. On display were many art items, including these dolls made of chiyogami paper.
At these kinds of Japanese events there is inevitably a booth in which you can pay to get dressed up in yukata and pose for pictures. I never see these participants skillfully dressed! =.=; I did snap a picture of this group because I was amused by the man dressed as a geisha!
After eating lunch (gyoza!) we wandered more and happened upon a shodo demonstration and display. We participated in a game of "guess the meaning of this ancient kanji!"
Even though the cherry blossoms were no longer blooming, we did spy this cute little garden of giant tullips.

After having our fill of the festival we decided to check out other sites of Seattle. We took the monorail to Westlake center and enjoyed a strawberry crepe and watched street performers tap dance and drum on buckets. We had a good time.

I encourage others to go out and see what festivals and events are available in your area! International festivals, music festivals, or street fairs, they can all be enjoyed and we can learn much about the world around us! Have fun!

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