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09 April 2024

Spring Ecstasy: Meeting of Two Blooming Worlds - Japan vs. Mexico


Hola! Amigos :)

April, and specifically Monday, April 8, is a magical time and day. We experienced a full solar eclipse in North America. Phenomenal, rare and emotional. As if that wasn't enough, there was a new moon on the same day. What some people predicted is the next end of the world...

Meanwhile, it's... spring - the time when nature comes alive and the landscapes are covered with a picturesque palette of juicy colors. In this magical season, two distant worlds - Japan and Mexico - come alive in majestic flowers. Japanese cherry trees and Mexican jacaranda trees attract attention not only with their beautiful aesthetics, but also with the culture and tradition that accompanies them. Let's take a closer look at this extraordinary phenomenon and compare how these two different journeys in time and space come together in the harmonious dance of spring flowering. Since photos of cherry blossoms appear massively in the media, let me focus on photos of jacaranda trees. I have never seen such "beauties" anywhere in the world.




Japan: The Land of Cherry blossoms

In Japan, spring's ecstasy blooms in the delicate petals of the cherry blossoms known as sakura. This is a special time when the whole country celebrates the tradition of hanami, i.e. picnics under cherry trees. People meet under the trees to celebrate the beauty of nature, enjoy the company of friends and families, and enjoy delicious food and drinks.

Sakura begins to bloom in southern Japan, around Okinawa, in late March, and then the flowering moves north to cover the entire island of Honshu, including famous places such as Kyoto, Tokyo and Hiroshima, where the peak of flowering usually occurs in early April. Cherry blossoms usually last only a few days, making it an even more treasured and fleeting sight.




Mexico: City of Jacaranda

In Mexico, spring brings a different kind of blooming spectacle - jacaranda trees fill cities and towns with purple flowers. Mexican cities, especially the capital, Mexico City, transform into picturesque landscapes when hundreds of jacaranda trees bloom in the streets, squares and parks. I was surprised to see trees blooming purple. Their number is astonishing. The view is dazzling.




The flowering of jacaranda trees in Mexico usually begins in March and lasts for several weeks, giving cities an unforgettable purple charm. Like in Japan, people in Mexico also celebrate this time by organizing festivals, concerts and picnics to enjoy the beauty of nature and the company of loved ones. The sounds of songs performed by "mariachi" bands echo throughout all the parks... In addition, the ubiquitous "tacos and tortillas" with chilled "cervesa" complete the range of experiences.


As if the visual and olfactory sensations were not enough, thanks to a friendly psychologist from Poznań, Bogna Białecka, we can learn about the medicinal properties of jacaranda:

"Due to my "hunter-gatherer" bias, I immediately checked: Jacaranda species were used to treat venereal diseases, skin, stomach and intestinal ailments. Jacaranone is a chemical component found in the Jacaranda tree and is said to have anti-cancer and anti-microbial properties. It may also support anticancer therapies. The Arborea Jacaranda tree is traditionally used in folk medicine to treat acne and against acaricides. The leaves of the plant can be used to fight syphilis and ulcers (Jacaranda carpetosa). Constituents and chemical properties vary depending on the species and genus. Mainly leaves and bark are used. They are applied directly to the wound or as an infusion or decoction.

What a wonderful tree this is...




Meeting of Two Worlds

Although thousands of kilometers apart, Japan and Mexico are united not only by the spring ecstasy of blooming flowers, but also by the deep culture and tradition that accompanies these events. Both hanami in Japan and the Mexican jacaranda festivals are rooted in respect and adoration for nature and community.




Traveling through these two different worlds of spring blooms, I discovered that no matter where on earth, the magic of spring has the power to connect people and revitalize nature. It is a time that reminds us of the transience of beauty and, at the same time, the strength of community and tradition. So, whether you are under the cherry trees in Japan or in the shade of the jacaranda trees in Mexico, let this spring trip be an unforgettable experience full of beauty and harmony.


I can't stop looking at it.

Hasta luego!


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