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Brooklyn Botanic Garden Holds Annual Sakura Matsuri Festival (PHOTOS)

Travelers Today       By    Maxine Wally

Updated: Apr 29, 2013 01:28 PM EDT

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The Brooklyn Botanic Garden bloomed with traditional Japanese culture this past weekend, at its annual Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival.

The festival ended month long "hanami"-a customary celebration revering the small, pink flowers that signify spring's arrival.

The BBG hoped for good weather and a fine turnout, and they got both: last year, a warmer spring turned the sakura flowers green earlier, so by the time the festival rolled around, the flora had lost their pink appeal. This year, however, the cold winter that plagued the previous months suddenly disappeared in a weekend. Suddenly, nice weather prompted the flowers to turn a rosy shade, as the huge clusters of trees in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond and Osborne Gardens blossomed.

The Sakura Matsuri celebration offered a whole host of events organized by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, including Taiko drum concerts, martial arts demonstrations, a fashion show,  and an origami workshop.

According to their website, Taiko drummers of all ages-even a troupe of children's Taiko musicians called Genki Daiko-preformed. Dancers from Dancejapan showcased their traditional Nihon Buyo-Japanese Classical Dance-while all-girl Japanese rock band Zakuro Chindon Band brought the house down.

There was also a large focus on anime and manga, (Japanese comics and illustration), at the event. Artists of all ages were invited to sketch their favorite sights at Sakura Matsuri, then tack them up on a wall to create an on-site art installation.

Uncle Yo, a stand-up comedian who specializes in what's called "geek comedy"-essentially anime stand-up-brought laughs at the stage in the Osborne Garden.

Hundreds of people dressed up for the occasion-they donned wild prints, bright colors, and harajuku-inspired outfits. (See photos here).

Others opted for more traditional wears-kimonos with wide, silk obi sashes, in muted lavenders, sky blues, and light pinks were seen all over the garden. (See photos here)

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