In 1973, seventy-two Yoshino Japanese Cherry Blossom trees were planted in Wooster Square by the New Haven Historic Commission. There is usually an annual cherry blossom festival in the square that takes place during April when the flowers generally bloom. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been canceled until 2022. However, festival organizers are still finding ways to bring the spirit of the celebration to life this year. Blush-pink blossoms have been spray-painted on the paths through Wooster Square, and the cherry blossoms themselves are now in bloom.
Cherry blossoms symbolize a period of renewal during the spring. They last only a few weeks, a characteristic that has often been used to represent the ephemeral nature of life. Cherry blossoms usually bloom in early spring. During this season in Japan, festivals celebrate the arrival of the blossoms.
Cherry blossoms have an enduring significance in Japan, where they are the national flower. They are popular not just for their appearance but also for their lasting expression of life, death, rebirth, and reproduction. The cherry blossom represents the fragility and beauty of life. They serve as a reminder that life is beautiful yet short.
When we walked through Wooster Square, everyone was social-distancing, but the grounds were still lively. Passerbys admired the flowers, took photos, and even climbed trees. Some people brought professional cameras and spent time carefully curating their snapshots. One visitor even flew a drone over the plaza to take aerial shots of the cherry blossom trees. The day was sunny and many people were walking their dogs along the paths. We saw people having picnics on the grass and lounging on the benches reading books. Artists had their easels set up to paint the budding blossoms.
It was a warm afternoon, but a gentle breeze rustled the cherry blossoms on occasion, scattering a few stray petals onto the paths. Some of the trees held ivory blossoms, but the rest were engulfed in pale pink flowers. The florets were located towards the ends of the branches. When we visited, some of the trees still had many buds that will likely bloom in the coming days. The serene scene fostered a sense of community that has grown rare since the pandemic first took hold.
After the blossoms peak, more and more petals will begin falling to the ground, leaving carpets of pink and white atop the grassy square. We recommend visiting Wooster Square in the next few days to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom!