CHERRY blossoms can bloom and wither in as little as seven days, leaving only a narrow window to appreciate their transient beauty.
Here in Shanghai, residents flock to Gucun Park in Baoshan District every spring to see these exquisite treats of nature.
The fifth annual Gucun Park Cherry Blossom Festival, an event timed to coincide with peak blossom season, attracted huge crowds to see the park’s 12,000 cherry blossom trees. The festival, which ends today, brought in more than 1.17 million visitors as of Monday, said organizers.
“To promote art and culture is the key subject when organizing events this year,” says the organizer of the Cherry Blossom Festival.
For example, the festival featured an exhibition on Sunday showcasing zisha teapots. Zisha pot masters from Yixing, Jiangxi Province — the birthplace of zisha pots, were invited to carve delicate patterns on the pots to show the visitors their elaborate craft.
Made with zisha (purple clay), these traditional craft goods first became popular in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD).
“When I saw the news that one small zisha pot could be sold for more than one million yuan, I was confused. But today, by seeing how the masters work on the pots, I finally get a hang of appreciating this unsophisticated yet refined art,” says Richard Wang who attended the event.
At the event, visitors also watched traditional Chinese opera performances and took part in a tea ceremony event.
Meanwhile, the Hengshan Beijiao Hotel organized a German Beer Carnival during the cherry blossom festival which featured live folk song and dance routines from Bavaria.
Traffic and security were improved for this year’s cherry blossom festival from the previous year, according to organizers. Available parking nearly doubled with the addition of 2,400 temporary spots. Forty-one ticket windows were opened to accommodate the surge in visitor flows.
Although the prime cherry blossom view season has passed, visitors still have time to enjoy late-blooming trees and park’s petal lined grounds, officials of the park said.
Gucun Park is three times the size of Century Park in the Pudong New Area, offering wide open spaces with pagodas and small cabins scattered around the gardens. Visitors can go boating on the tranquil lake or cycling in the park without worrying about bumping into others all the time.