Nature has set a new course as Spring emerges in the city and a powerful storm hits the midwest. Everything is beginning to bloom on the east coast from nature to romance as the seeds of truth are rediscovered. It feels like a time of awakening. Remember the scene in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy and her friends woke up in the poppy field? Time for us to wake up.
The cherry blossoms in Washington are expected to reach peak bloom in the next few days, as warmer temperatures coax the flower buds to unfurl.
The cherry blossom is considered the national flower of Japan. The trees are also blooming in Tokyo, signaling spring's arrival in Japan's capital. It was Tokyo's mayor that gave 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the U.S. capital in 1912 as a symbol of friendship. Japan's love affair with the trees dates to 794, when the imperial capital was moved to Kyoto, where it's thought many cherry trees grew. From then on, the pink and white blossoms - which burst into life then drift away a few days later - were mentioned frequently in literature and poetry as a symbol of death as well as a metaphor for human life. The annual blooms appear first in the south before advancing slowly up the archipelago. Wherever they appear, blossom-viewing parties, or picnics, follow closely behind. The cherry blossoms are so revered in Japan that the peak bloom forecast is front-page news, while radio and TV broadcasters give hourly reports during their brief life span. The budding usually coincides with the beginning of the school year and the fiscal year for companies. The whole country starts anew.
Holi Spring Festival's Vibrant Colors in 7 Pictures
National Geographic - March 23, 2016
Many parts of South Asia will be alive with color this week in celebration of Holi. The vibrant hues reflect not only the arrival of spring but symbolically the victory of good over evil. Although the festival has religious significance, it has also become a way for society to celebrate in a secular way the end of winter, especially in colder parts of India and Nepal. As a prelude, bonfires will be lit tonight, representing the burning of the demoness Holika, or Holi, in Hindu scripture. On Thursday, a national holiday in India, adults and children carrying bags or buckets of brightly colored powder, as well as bottles and water guns, spray, smear and drench one another with color. The deity Krishna, who is colored blue in paintings, and his female followers are believed to have done the same in ancient times. These days, the festivities can sometimes get raucous. If you're venturing near a celebration, you may consider wearing old clothes and rubbing coconut oil onto your skin to avoid absorbing the colors. Passers-by can get splashed, too.
Full Moon 3° Libra Lunar Eclipse - March 23, 2016