Sakura Matsuri Stockholm – Cherry Blossom Festival
Every year there is a cherry blossom festival (“Körsbärsblommans Dag”) in central Stockholm, Sweden, organized by the Japanese Association. For the public, it’s a lovely tradition to go there every year and experience a little bit of the hanami spirit even though Sweden is far away from Japan. This year the cherry trees were just beginning to flower and it was a nice sunny day. The festival was packed with people, it seems to become more and more popular each year.
A taste of traditional Japan
During the festival there were lots of stalls where you could see some of the traditional side of Japan.
Furoshiki – traditional wrapping cloth you use to wrap your gifts or goods in. Both sides of the fabric are decorated with beautiful colours and patterns.
Bonsai – Growing trees in small pots to make them grow into miniature size. The bonsai trees come from the Swedish bonsai association club, bonsaisallskapet.se. Even though none of the trees were for sale, the club members that had brought them along were very happy to talk about all things bonsai.
Origami – Folding paper and sculpturing it into shapes.
Shodō – Japanese calligraphy. This seemed to be one of the more popular stalls, where you could get your own zodiac animal sign in calligraphy, beautifully hand painted.
Kimono – A traditional Japanese garment. At the festival you could try it on to see what it’s like to wear. This was another one of the stalls that we had seen before which seemed to be very popular. We also saw lots of people walking around with kimono and yukata.
Ikebana – Flower arrangement art.
Karuta – A Japanese card game.
Food stalls, Japanese goods and more
There were also several food stalls where you could buy bento, onigri, kimchi, macha cakes, sushi, noodles and lots more.
Bon Aibon are Japanese sweet cakes made by Ai Ventura, who also sells her cakes at the cafe Kikusen in Östasiatiska Museet in Stockholm.
The food stalls were really popular at the festival with some of the stalls having very long queues.
The Swedish manga association also had a stall, showing off lots of different manga books.
Sunai Japan Shop had a stall with stationary, magazines and bento boxes for sale.
Selmish was there, selling packets of Japanese treats and more.
It was also great to see a lot of our favourite dog breed, the shiba inu, which were all walking around very proud.
The Japanese Association of Stockholm is a great site to check for other Japanese events in Sweden.
We have posted lots of other articles about hanami over the years. They can all be found by clicking the following link: hanami