When we think of Cherry Blossoms, we think of Japan or Washington D.C. Cherry Blossoms have been oblivious to Shillong locals as it’s so common. The indigenous tree grows wild here; it’s only very recently that locals have begun to take time out to appreciate its delicate charms. Last November, Shillong hosted India’s first cherry blossom festival, and it’s back in town from 8-11 November 2017.
From 8-11 November 2017 the Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong will celebrate the flowering in this International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, with community events such as guided night walks, live music gigs, a beauty pageant, and stalls showcasing the cuisine, wine, arts and craft of the region. Travellers can join night walks under illuminated cherry blossoms, led by volunteers at Ward’s Lake between 5-8 p.m.. Alongside, there will be a rock concert, traditional folk music, unplugged western music and dance performances from all over North East India, choir performances, bicycle rallies, storytelling sessions of local and world folktales, and a Japan Higher Education Fair . Visitors can even bring their golf set along to participate in the Golf Cup. All events are free and open to all.
The India International Cherry Blossom Festival will be held in multiple venues in Shillong. It is organised by the state government with the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Instagram opportunities abound—the state government and the institute planted 3,000 saplings in the city in 2015 to better understand the indigenous tree, and are looking to transplant varieties from Himachal Pradesh soon.
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