Customs and traditions of cherry tree
Photo of cherries with leaves
Cherry tree is grown mainly for the production of its fruits called cherries. They can be eaten fresh or in different dishes. Preserved in jam or marmalade. From cherries we also also make different spirits as “Kirsch” or “Maraschino”, Mexican Acachul wine or cherry vinegar, quite common in China.
The stems of the fruits and leaves are used in herbal medicine for its diuretic properties. (More information on “Properties of cherry in the listing below)
We must not neglect the cherry wood that has a lot of quality in woodwork and for the production of musical instruments. Because of its rapid growth, it gives a good yield in a short time.
Many Asian species of cherry trees are grown as landscape plants, being especially remarkable the importance that the Japanese grant to this tree.
Importance of cherry tree in Japan
Japanese people especially admire cherry tree flowers. In Japan it is annually celebrated the feast of “The sight of cherry blossoms” which they call the” Hanami “.
Families go to the the countryside and the gardens and parks of cities in early April to eat and drink sake under the flowered cherry trees. The Japanese consider the cherry blossom as the ideal of a simple and pure life.
The cherry blossom is the symbol of the flow of time and the blossom time is a happy moment in their short life since it represents the spring and the rebirth of life. Lovers take this moment to declare themselves mutual love.
This festival has been celebrated since ancient times, although, at first, only the most important classes could participate. Every year they gather under the trees in bloom to write.
Cherry tree has always been very important in Japanese culture. Once considered a sacred tree inhabited by their gods. No wonder that the cherry blossoms are often part of literature, painting, dance and other forms of graphic representation. Regardless of Hanami Party, in Japanese weddings, the bride and groom drink an infusion of cherry blossoms to give them good luck in the future.
Cherry tree in other parts of the world
The importance of this flowering tree is remarkable not only in Japanese culture. In the Czech Republic, the blooming of cherry trees in late December is considered a sign of good luck.
The Jerte Valley in Extremadura (Spain) is financially dependent on the cultivation of the cherry tree. This is why this valley is known as “The Cherry Valley.”
Every year, a “Cherry Festival” is celebrated in this region. In this event, a series of activities related with this tree take place: excursions to see the beauty of the fields in bloom, cherry tasting dishes, gathering of cherries by visitors in certain fields, regional dances, gymkhanas, etc.
This festival is normally held in late March, although the date may change to suit the cherry blossom, that is very dependent on weather conditions. It’s a party that has achieved widespread touristy importance, but it was already carried out traditionally when farmers went to the flowered fields to celebrate spring.
The truth is that, from time immemorial, cherry tree has been associated with gods and deities. In Roman mythology, it was associated with Venus, the goddess of love, with the sun and the summer. It was considered a symbol of innocence.
The relationship of this tree with love is appreciated in many cultures since ancient times. It is an old custom to predict the fate of a damsel in future years through the bones of the cherries recently eaten. Young women ask themselves when they will marry. They go on taking one bone after another as they answer themselves “this year, next year, sometime, never.” The last bone determines the chosen response.
Other times, this tree has been associated with the dark and magical. The wizards and witches of the Middle Ages used a cherry branch to perform their spells. They prescribed cherry juice as an aphrodisiac or as a remedy for ailments of menstruation.
Cherry production in the world
The first producer of cherries in the world is Turkey, followed by the United States, China, Spain, Chile, Japan and Australia.
The U.S. is the largest exporter of fresh cherries, Canada and Japan being its major markets, while Turkey exports mainly to Germany and the UK.
The following table shows the approximate amount exported during the year 2006 – 2007, according to Department of Agriculture (USDA)
|Main cherry producers in the world (Year 2006 – 2007)
|Whole production in T (Metric tones)
More information on cherries
4 December, 2021