Hanami season not only marks the end of the harsh winter, but also the beginning of a new school year and a new fiscal year, so hanami is like a party to celebrate a new beginning. Spring is a very busy time of year, and because of this, the peak month for overwork is said to be March. Once you get past that March, the cherry blossoms will be in full bloom in April. This is the transition from working to playing. People drink copious amounts of alcohol, barbeque and celebrate. The ephemeral beauty of the cherry blossom petals is symbolic to the Japanese. The cherry blossom petals used to be compared to the life of a samurai, an explosion of bright colors during their short life, and then they wither and die. It’s time to do it. The cherry blossoms represent the shortness of life and the fragility of existence, and we celebrate them with copious amounts of sake. Historically, the first Hanami took place in the 7th century. Originally a religious ritual, it was held on a specific day and predicted the coming harvest based on the condition of the cherry blossoms! The cherry blossoms in full bloom symbolize a bountiful rice harvest, and upper class people celebrate by drinking and eating under the trees. Cherry blossoms in full bloom symbolize a bountiful rice harvest, and upper class people celebrate by drinking and eating under the trees. The first of these plays was performed at the time.