SHILLONG, Oct 29 - After last year�s embarrassment, a team of scientists today confirmed that Cherry Blossom trees would be at its fullest bloom at the time of the four-day Cherry Blossom festival scheduled here from November 14.
Last year hordes of tourists from all around the country came to witness the Cherry Blossom festival, but most of the trees didn�t bloom and the travelers were mostly disappointed.
The festival is being organised by Meghalaya Forest and Environment department and Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), in collaboration with Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
A team of scientists and research scholars led by IBSD Director, Dinabandhu Sahoo have been travelling extensively across the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya to study the onset of flowering of the Himalayan Cherry.
They have concluded after the study that the Cherry Blossoms have already started blooming on some trees in the higher altitude hills of Upper Shillong and also in Shillong and these will be in full bloom by next week.
�However, most of the Cherry trees in and around Shillong are now at the budding stage and the flowering is expected to start next week and the full bloom is expected during November 14 to 17, which are the festival dates,� Sahoo said.
The ISBD Director also said that tourists who are already in Khasi Hills can enjoy the full blossoms in several areas of Upper Shillong and added that in the next two weeks people can witness the cherry blossoms in full bloom ahead of the huge rush expected during the festival dates.
He further informed that Japanese researchers from Tokyo University have shown keen interest to collaborate with IBSD and will visit Shillong during the festival dates.
�Cherry Blossoms are an excellent indicator for not only the change of seasons but also for climate change. There was this recent unexpected blooming of the Cherry Blossoms in Japan several months ahead of the usual blossoming in spring,� he informed.
The India International Cherry Blossom Festival will celebrate the unique autumn flowering of Himalayan Cherry Blossoms with several cultural events at the State Capital. Visitors can enjoy fashion shows, rock concerts, a beauty pageant and people can even compete in an amateur Golf Tournament.
Moreover, there will be stalls showcasing the region�s food, wine and crafts and several Japanese cultural events are lined up. A Japanese Food Pavilion and a Higher Education Stall would be installed in partnership with the Embassy of Japan in India, the organisers said.