For 2020 our Hanami Festival has increased from a one-day event to a two-day event due to its rapidly growing popularity. The Hanami Festival celebrates the blossom period and introduces the traditions practised in Japan for over 1000 years. The Brogdale Hanami Festival takes place in our ornamental cherry orchards, where people can enjoy a picnic among the blossom, which comprises over 350 cherry varieties.
We have lots of activities to entertain and educate guests, such as traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, calligraphy demonstrations, talks from the Japanese Bonsai Society, Japanese food tasters, sword demonstrations and more. Visitors are also able to take a guided walking or tractor tour of the blossom orchards and learn about the valuable work we do at the National Fruit Collection. The blossom tour gives visitors a detailed background into the history of growing blossoming fruit trees, and the origins of the Sakura varieties held most sacred in Japan.
The Japanese artefact exhibition loaned from the Japanese Embassy shares further aspects of Japanese culture with traditional toys, food, dressware and chinaware on display. Information boards share the history behind such artefacts and visitors are able to be interactive through trying on a traditional kimono. Pictures of Japanese blossom will also be exhibited to demonstrate the beauty of Japan in full bloom.
Picnicking under the blossom allows visitors to experience the tradition and embodies the community celebration that resonates from Japan. Encouragement is given to bring a lavish picnic and sample the Japanese food tasters available to try. Picnicking under the blossom also gives visitors a chance to relax in the true beauty of the blossom trees, showcasing not only the beauty of Japanese heritage but also why Brogdale Collections is such an important part of history.