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Cotton candy trees spotted in Vancouver

Pink Cherry Blossoms in bloom. (Karen Massier/iStock)

Okay, Vancouver, B.C., doesn’t really have trees made of cotton candy, but the city’s 40,000 cherry trees resemble pink, puffy clouds of sugary goodness. Cherry tree blossoms bloom for one to two weeks in April, and the city celebrates their sweetness during the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (April 3-28, 2014).

How did Vancouver end up with 40,000 cherry trees?

In the 1930s, the mayors of Kobe and Yokohama, Japan, gifted Vancouver with 500 cherry trees — it was their way of thanking Vancouver for honouring Japanese-Canadians who fought in World War I. In 1958, Japan gifted more cherry trees to celebrate the friendship between Canada and Japan.

So far, Japan has given Vancouver 37,000 trees! And despite their name, Japanese cherry trees don’t actually yield fruit.

What happens during the festival (besides tree-gazing)?

All sorts of sweet stuff, such as:

• Taiko Drumming.

• Japanese Tea Ceremony Demonstrations, also called the Way of Tea, the tea ceremony involves the ceremonial preparation and presentation of a powdered green tea called matcha.

• Japanese arts and crafts, such as at ikebana (flower arranging), calligraphy and origami.

• Haiku Readings

Haikus are three-line poems, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Here’s a sample haiku that was submitted to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival:

a winter blizzard
I turn my calendar
to cherry blossoms

Find out where the cherry blossoms are blooming in Vancouver.