For a few precious days in April, Copenhagen’s parks and cemeteries are punctuated by that majestic of sights, cherry trees in full bloom. Wades of wafting branches decked in pink blossom attract thousands of visitors to the city every year with the Sakura Festival bringing the curtain down on this life-affirming event. Every local Dane probably have their own secret cherry blossom haven, but to any newcomer to the city, I would undoubtedly recommend Kongens Have, The King’s Gardens. Copenhagen’s oldest renaissance gardens dating back to the early 1600’s have undoubtedly the oldest Japanese Cherry trees in the city, encircling the statue of Viggo Hørup, located at the King’s Gate on the corner of Gothersgade. A walk to the northern part of the gardens will bring you to possibly Europe’s longest Staudebedet, Mixed Borders, a popular place to sit and tilt one´s face in the direction of the sun like a new sprung daffodil. This part of the gardens is home to over 200 species of plants and shrubs and was sensitively designed by the landscape architect Sonja Poll.
The Copenhagen Sakura Festival, has been attracting visitors since 2007 and takes place in the beautiful grounds of Langelinie Park, home to 200 donated cherry trees. The festival, being held on the 25th. and 26th. April coincides, hopefully with the trees in full bloom or Sakura as the Japanese express it. The festival is a wonderful opportunity to understand the symbolic nature of the cherry blossom and it´s role in Japanese art and culture. The event organized by the Japanese Embassy and other related organizations brings two cultures together under a cloak of pink blossom and has become a popular event where Manga boys and girls mingle with sumo wrestlers. Read the programme for The Copenhagen Sakura Festival here.
Maybe it is the gleam of hope when the blossom parades itself in its full glory that attracts us. A delicate union of beauty and death, Sakura.