When all the ice from winter has melted and harsh cold winds gone, it is time to rejoice and welcome the blossoming of cherry blossoms in South Korea! A trip down to any of the parks within Seoul becomes clear why this season is extremely popular among the locals and visitors abroad. 🙂 The multitude of fragrant pink and white flowers bursting into bloom across the country leaves everyone sighing at its prettiest in pink and most cannot help but snap countless pictures of the flowers, selfies and group photos.
So if you want to catch South Korea’s cherry blossom season, it’s usually a safe bet to travel there between late March and mid-April. However, since cherry trees bloom at different times depending on the region, take a look at these estimated dates below to help you plan your itinerary. The Korean Meteorological Administration will only release its official cherry blossom forecast for 2017 around early March, so keep checking here for the latest updates. For now, here were the cherry blossom dates for 2016:
|Region||Expected Cherry Blossom Dates|
|Jeju Island||March 23 – 30 March 23 – 30 (Full bloom: March 23)|
|Busan||March 26 – April 2 (Full bloom: March 26)|
|Gwangju||March 29 – April 5 (Full bloom: March 29)|
|Daegu||March 26 – April 2 (Full bloom: March 26)|
|Seoul||April 6 – 13 (Full bloom: April 6)|
|Incheon||April 9 – 15 (Full bloom: April 9)|
2017 Blooming Dates for Cherry Blossoms in Korea
Yes! Rejoice! :)) The Korea Tourism Organisation has just released its forecast for the cherry blossom dates! So everyone, it is time to take note and make plans with friends, family and your significant other to enjoy those glorious cherry blossom bloom dates.
Contentious Origins of Cherry Blossoms in South Korea
The cherry blossom is usually associated with Japan, where it is known as sakura. In Korea, it is called beot-kkot (벗꽃). In fact most of the cherry trees in Korea are believed to be a slightly different species of tree than those in Japan. The Korean cherry tree, known as the ‘king cherry’ originated from Jeju Island, which is also the first place that the cherry blossom occurs in due to its slightly warmer climate.
While most people make the typical mistake of assuming that cherry blossom festivals belong to part of the Japanese culture, it has been proven that Japan’s cherry blossoms are not indigenous flowers, and that they were imported from outside the country. These sakuras are descendants from Jeju Island’s king cherry and have gone trough many years of cross-fertilisation.
It is well known in South Korea’s history that the Japanese planted Yoshino cherry trees at Seoul’s Changgyeonggung Palace and the viewing of cherry blossoms was introduced to Korea during the Japanese invasion. The festivals continued even after the Japanese surrendered at the end of WWII but there are differing views from the various public outcries. Seen as symbols of the occupation, many cherry trees were cut down to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Japanese surrender. That gesture showed how much hatred the South Korean citizens have for the Japanese brutalism and tyranny during the WWII.
However, many citizens would readily agree that the lovely Yoshino cherry trees have their aesthetic value in attracting worldwide foreign visitors and admiration from all over the world. The blossoming of the cherry trees during spring time contributes significantly to the tourism sector.
So putting all views and differences in opinion aside, the one thing we all agree, is that when the blossoms of the pretty white and pink hues announce the arrival of spring, everyone stops to admire these frail flowers for they are at their prettiest in full glory for 2 weeks every year. So let’s all enjoy this season of pink and white! Cheers~ 🙂