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Traditional dances, taiko drums, kimono fashion show, magic tricks, and martial arts demonstrations were just a few of the things rallied at the 7th annual Cherry Blossom Festival.
Photos by Chau Nguyen
April is cherry blossom season when the flowers are in full bloom, signifying the coming of spring. People all over Japan celebrate the seasonal transition by holding picnics and hanami, or cherry blossom viewings. While there are no cherry blossoms to be seen around here, that doesn't mean Southern Californians couldn't take part in the cherry blossom festivities. The 7th annual Cherry Blossom Festival, held on April 17th and 18th in Monterey Park, offered a myriad of cultural activities that gave festival-goers a glimpse of Japanese and Japanese-American culture.
In between the acts, festival goers took time to peruse the park grounds and check out the various booths selling hand-made crafts and trinkets, ranging from jade pendants to Asian-styled purses and fans. Many people also participated in a Japanese tea ceremony and took Origami lessons.
Even though this event is only in its seventh year, the Cherry Blossom Festival has had a long history in Monterey Park, existing in some form since the early 1970s. Unfortunately, due to certain circumstances, it was discontinued in the 1980s, however, the festival was resurrected in 1997 by a group of community volunteers who yearned to provide a cultural arts event that would offer a forum for learning, entertainment, fun, and support for the community. Since its rebirth, the festival has continued to grow and thrive.
Date Posted: 4/23/2004