A centuries-old Japanese tradition is coming to Vancouver, as part of this year’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival.
Dubbed “The Big Picnic,” the event takes place at Queen Elizabeth Park and is meant to mirror a tradition in Japan known as Hanami, which translates to “flower (hana-) viewing (mi)”.
Hanami dates back to over a thousand years ago, “when aristocrats sat under cherry blossoms and wrote poems inspired by the blossoms,” according to festival organizers.
Nowadays in Japan, friends and families gather under the cherry blossoms in local parks eating homemade food (or convenience store “bento” lunch boxes), singing songs and participating in simple, fun, outdoor activities such as photo-taking and haiku writing.
On April 14, Vancouverites and visitors alike are invited to be a part of the afternoon event in one of the city’s flagship parks.
Those who attend are encouraged to bring a picnic mat, a picnic basket, and enjoy the afternoon festivities.
Activities will include face-painting, walking meditation, life-size Jenga and Connect Four, and performances by local artists.
Food vendors at the picnic will include the Tacofino and Disco Cheetah food trucks, McCafé, who will be handing out free espresso, hot chocolate, and coffee, and Costco, who will be offering assorted snacks and candy free of charge.
In addition, YYoga is offering a free 45-minute yoga class – spots are first come, first served and participants need to bring their own yoga mat. The Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services will also be on-site with a fire truck for family photo-ops.
When: Saturday, April 14
Time: 12 pm to 3 pm
Where: Queen Elizabeth Park –4600 Cambie St