In Japan, cherry blossoms are a symbol of the beauty and the transience of life. In Vancouver, they mean it’s time to celebrate.

The cherry blossoms are predicted to be out in all their glory next week, as the sixth annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (VCBF) ushers in springtime.

The month-long celebration — a favourite among local and international shutterbugs alike — begins Thursday at 11 a.m. inside the Burrard SkyTrain station, known for its beautiful but short-lived canopy of the colourful Japanese flowers.

The festival opening will feature the first public performance of renowned Indian choreographer Shiamak Davar’s Umbrella Dance, put on by the Vancouver Performance Team.

Other draws include a $20 lunch special prepared by some of Japan’s most famous chefs, a display of taiko drumming and, of course, the cherry blossoms themselves.