A woman takes a selfie with the cherry blossom trees (Image Credit: Marina Vassileva)

News in brief

LARGE CROWDS GATHERED IN HELSINKI'S ROIHUVUORI PARK over the weekend to take in the cherry blossom trees, which reached the peak of their short-lived blooming season on Saturday and Sunday. 

The cherry blossom trees have been a colourful attraction in the Herttoniemi area of Helsinki since the 1990s when a Japanese garden was built in the area to provide local jobs at the height of the 90s recession. More than 150 cherry blossom trees exist in the park, the highest such number in Finland by a considerable stretch.

While always a popular destination at this time of year, it appears that the cherry trees have drawn the largest crowds yet this month. Estimates by Iltalehti place the number of people packed into the park at over 1000 at one point on Saturday, making that social distancing rules difficult to follow. 

The regular annual Japanese Hanami Festival, which is organized to celebrate the cherry blossom bloom, was due to take place in the park, but was cancelled due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. 


Adam Oliver Smith - HT

Image Credit: Marina Vassileva / https://500px.com/marinavassileva