Meghalaya on Monday became the first state to start India’s first Cherry Blossom Festival, which is widely celebrated in Japan.
The four-day festival also provided opportunities to showcase the unique beauty of the pink and white cherry blossoms as well as Meghalaya’s traditional arts, culture and cuisine to naturalists and tourists.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma inaugurated the festival in the state capital. Cherry blossoms are in full bloom in several parts of the city and the suburbs.
Sangma appreciated the partnership with the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD).
IBSD Director Dinabandhu Sahoo, who conceptualised the Cherry Blossom Festival in India, said the event would set the stage for 2017, which has been declared by the U.N. as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
The Cherry Blossom Festival, popularly known as Sakura Festival in Japan, is held in April every year.
Australia, Korea, China, the U.S. and some other countries celebrate the festival.
It helps create a positive impact on the local economy, by generating income.IANS