Morris Arboretum Celebrates Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival

 

 

This spring, the Morris Arboretum will once again host its annual Japanese Cherry Blossom Celebration, in partnership with the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival of Greater Philadelphia. The Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival is an initiative of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia with the goal of fostering a better understanding of the cultural, social and educational customs of Japan in the United States.

In the early 20th century, John and Lydia Morris (founders of the Morris Arboretum) established one of the finest collections of Japanese plants and gardens in the region at their home, Compton, which would later become the Morris Arboretum. To commemorate this heritage, the Morris Arboretum celebrates the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival with a variety of activities this April.  The events are for both children and adults, and will celebrate the art, culture and gardens inspired by the 35 varieties of cherry trees that grace the Arboretum with their blossoms each spring.

With the early spring this year, as Punxsutawney Phil predicted, many Yoshino cherries may be at the end of their bloom period during the celebration.  However, the Arboretum’s vast cherry collection includes trees with varying bloom times, and their season can last up to three weeks. This should ensure that Arboretum visitors will enjoy flowering cherries during the festival.

During two weekends in April – Saturday, April 9 and Saturday, April 16 – the Morris Arboretum will mark this unique aspect of Japan’s rich culture and heritage.

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Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival events:

Saturday, April 9, 10am-3pm

Experience the beauty of Morris Arboretum’s cherry tree collection in bloom.  Both Saturdays will feature traditional Japanese cultural activities.  All events are free with regular admission.

 

Cherry Walk

10:15am and 12:15pm, meet at Garden Rail Entrance

Visitors are invited to discover and appreciate the variety of cherry species planted throughout the Arboretum.  This 45 minute walk will be led by an Arboretum expert.

Limited space.

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Kyo Daiko Drumming Crew

10:30am and 12pm, Haha Wall

Taiko drumming has been practiced in Japan for hundreds of years at festivals, battles, and as a means of communication over long distances.  A combination of choreography and drumming, taiko drumming is physically demanding and visually compelling.  KyoDaiko, under the sponsorship of Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, is a community-based taiko drumming group offering classes in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia.

 

Traditional Japanese Tea Demonstration

1pm, HaHa Wall (rain location:  Upper Gallery)

The picnic tea or Chabako is a beautiful and unique form of the Japanese Tea Ceremony. Featuring traditional costumes and designed to be done outdoors, there are four distinct presentations, one for each of the seasons.  Weather permitting this demonstration will be outside.

 

 

 

Japanese Elements Tours

2-3pm, meet at Garden Rail entrance

Led by an Arboretum docent, this tour will highlight the Arboretum’s Japanese style gardens.

 

Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival events:

Saturday, April 16, 10am-3pm

 

Cherry Walk

10:15am and 12:15pm, meet at Garden Rail entrance

Visitors are invited to discover and appreciate the variety of cherry species planted throughout the Arboretum.  This 45 minute walk will be led by Anthony Aiello, the Gayle E. Maloney Director of Horticulture and Curator of the Living Collection.

Limited space.

 

Kyo Daiko Drumming Crew

10:30am and 12:00pm, Haha Wall

Taiko drumming has been practiced in Japan for hundreds of years at festivals, battles, and as a means of communication over long distances.  A combination of choreography and drumming, taiko drumming is physically demanding and visually compelling.  Kyo Daiko, Philadelphia’s only Japanese-style drumming crew, is a community-based group, formed by collaboration between the Settlement Music School and the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden in Fairmount Park.

Kimono Dressing Demonstration

11am, Upper Gallery

Young and old alike will delight in the beautiful kimonos exhibited by Fumiyo Batta.   Since 1998, Mrs. Batta has given numerous classes, demonstrations, and seminars on the art of kimono, traditional Japanese attire.  As an extensive collector of kimonos, she will talk about the history of the kimono and demonstrate how to wear them. Participation from the audience will be welcomed.

Origami Workshops

1pm and 2pm, Upper Gallery

Learn how to make an origami crane under the tutelage of local resident and Japanese native Yuki

Flores.  This art form of paper folding has been practiced for centuries and become a lasting symbol of traditional Japanese culture.

Japanese Elements Tours

2-3pm, meet at Garden Rail entrance

Led by an Arboretum docent, this tour will highlight the Arboretum’s Japanese style gardens.

 

For more information about any of these events, please call 215-247-5777 or visit Morris Arboretum online at www.morrisarboretum.org.  And during your visit, be sure to stop at The Shop at Morris Arboretum for unique Arboretum-branded merchandise.  The Shop specializes in, environmentally-friendly reuse of materials, and items inspired by nature.  Gifts for children to engage and inspire young minds await you.  And for the person on your list who has everything, give the gift of a Morris Arboretum membership, the gift that lasts all year long.

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is located at 100 East Northwestern Avenue in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.  The 92-acre horticulture display garden features a spectacular collection of mature trees in a beautiful and colorful landscape. The Arboretum includes numerous picturesque spots such as a formal rose garden, historic water features, a swan pond, and the only remaining freestanding fernery in North America. The arboretum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also the official arboretum of Pennsylvania. A permanent nationally award winning exhibit, Out on a Limb – a Tree Adventure Exhibit adds to Morris Arboretum’s allure by transporting visitors 50 feet up into the treetops on a canopy walk that requires no climbing.  Open weekdays 10am-4pm and weekends 10am-5pm (Apr-Oct).  Open late on Wednesdays in June, July, and August until 8:00pm.  For more information, visit www.morrisarboretum.org.