stART - Cherry Blossoms

This week marks the beginning of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.  Froggy and her friends are taking Japanese with Ms. Frick who is here for year after many as a Missionary in Japan.  The class learned about the festival in Japanese.  Froggy tried to tell me about it but I missed much of what she said.  We skipped our regular park day and made our maiden voyage to the festival today with Mrs. Horacek in her "tour guide" mode.  It was cold and damp but we still got to do some amazing Hanami (cherry blossom viewing). 

We also went to see Mr. Jefferson in his permanent home.  Though I have lived her for 5 years, it was my first time visiting this monument.  While we were there we found ourselves in the midst of a flashmob
The park service set up a special Junior Ranger program for the festival.  It was Froggy's absolute favorite part of the festival.  From then everything was "Junior Rangers do.... " and "Junior Rangers don't.."  She was very solemn and serious during the cermony

She got to make a cherry blossom. She was so patient and meticulous.  The ranger said it was the best one she had seen so far. 

There are lots of great books about Cherry Blossoms as well as  Japanese culture.  Our favorite was Under the Cherry Blossom Tree: An Old Japanese Tale.  I think one of the best ways to explore a culture is through its folk tales.  I also love seeing the similarity between the folk tales of different cultures.  The tale is simple funny story and the illustrations are perfect. Froggy laughed and laughed through this one.  

We also enjoyed Japanese Traditions: Rice Cakes, Cherry Blossoms, and Matsuri: AYear of Seasonal Japanese Festivities.  We focused on March and April.  March is the Festival of the Dolls and Girl's Day.  April is the Cherry Blossom Festival.  It was a bit too cuties to be my favorite but it has lots of good factual information in it. 


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