25 gorgeous photos of cherry blossoms

Embrace spring with these fleeting blooms around the world.

Symbolizing the return of spring, travelers flock to catch a glimpse of the fragrant, pink blooms that were first made famous in Japan but appear worldwide. Delicate in nature and color, cherry blossoms, or sakura, mirror human life—beautiful, cherished, but brief.

Hanami, or flower-viewing parties, date back to the 9th century when Japanese emperors would hold celebrations for the cherry and plum blossoms that would bud in early spring. The world’s love for cherry blossoms have not diminished. (See beautiful photos of Japan's cherry blossoms.)

Members of our Your Shot photography community took these pictures, capturing both the simple, yet stunning beauty of the season and the joy it brings to people.

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Starlight Williams is an editorial researcher and writer at National Geographic. Follow her on Twitter @star_lightw and Instagram @starlightwilliams.