Copenhagen Sakura festival returns for a vibrant 17th year

From April 20 to 21, under the pale pink of cherry blossom trees, the Copenhagen Sakura Festival ushered in spring for the seventeenth year. 

Hosted every year in Langelinie Park, the event is free to enter and is put on by the Committee of the Copenhagen Sakura Festival in collaboration with the Japanese Embassy. Attractions at this year’s festival included a Taishōgoto Ensemble from Japan, a cosplay contest, and a martial arts performance. 

See clips from the 2024 festival here!

In 2005, 200 Sakura trees were donated to Copenhagen by the Honorary Danish Consul in Hiroshima. The donation inspired the Sakura Festival, a cultural event featuring Japanese music, food, and art.

Since its conception, the number of festival attendees has grown each year. According to Statistics Denmark, the number of Japanese immigrants to Copenhagen has also steadily increased over the last ten years. 

One attendee, Aysu Bayraktar, an exchange student from Turkey, said she hadn’t seen any celebrations like the Sakura Festival during her time in Copenhagen.

“There are Asian food places and Turkish markets, but I haven’t seen any other events that are culture specific,” she said.

With Japan’s long history of gifting cherry blossom trees, blooming Sakuras signal springtime around the world. In Washington D.C., the Cherry Blossom Festival has taken place for over a century. In Australia, the Cowra Japanese Garden is the largest Japanese garden in the Southern Hemisphere.

If you can’t make it to Copenhagen in the spring, you might be able to find cherry blossoms close to home! Check out this link for more Sakura gardens around the world.

The 17th year of the Sakura Festival was enjoyed by hundreds of people. Photo by: Michaela-Františka Kárná