The spring brings into this small town the joyful festival of pink. The old sakura trees that are situated in the heart of Carpathian Rakhiv welcome the awakening of the nature spreading their generous blossom. Every year I try to come to Rakhiv to paint sakura trees. Joy and love – they go hand in hand here.
Cherry blossom is the national flower of Japan. And they are one of the reasons to have Japan in my list of the dream countries to be visited in the lifetime.
Cherry blossom is known in Japan as “Sakura”. We, Ukrainians, also adopted this name for these exquisite trees. Sakura blossoms have a deep meaning in Japan. In samurai culture, for example, they express the spirit of bushido, the code of honour of the samurai. Sakura blossoms also symbolize the spirit of the samurai warrior – being full of youthful energy, yet ready to sacrifice the life in order to defeat honour and the stated values. No wonder that the images of the cherry blossom were painted on the kamikaze planes during the World War II.
The sakura flowers are also the SYMBOL of HOPE.
The season of cherry blossom marks the start of new beginnings. The intensity and liveliness of the cherry blossom are said to inspire anyone to dream big and hope for better things in the future and to be optimistic. Yet, the short longevity of the sakura flowers should express the strong connection between the ideas and the actual acts that make the dreams come true.
In Japan, the sakura trees are also the SYMBOL OF HUMILITY.
The blooming period of cherry blossoms is really short. It may last up to max. two weeks. The instantaneous flourish leads to the sudden death.
The flower serves as a reminder of mortality. It should remind that the life of a human being can end anytime.
The sakura blossom exemplifies this human condition, making people realize that life is short and that humans should live it well and generous.
Cherry blossoms are also widely spread in China. However, their symbolic meaning is somewhat different from what the sakura blossoms symbolise in Japan. Being linked with the female beauty, the cherry blossom stands also for the feminine sexuality and authority. In the Chinese culture, the cherry blossom is a representation of feminine beauty and power.
Looking at the sakura blossom, I always feel the glory of the life. The more time I spend in the presence of these marvellous trees, the deeper I feel the fluctuation of the time. This moment is actually everything we have.
Hanabi festival which is the Flower Festival is held across whole Japan in spring. People celebrate it by picnicking in beautiful gardens and parks just under the blooming sakura trees. This year I had my own Hanabi festival in Rakhiv. I spend it by painting these beauties.