Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Washington, D.C. Celebrates 
the Centennial of Cherry Blossoms!

Japan's gift of 3,020 cherry trees just keeps on giving. When the leaders in the city of Tokyo made this warm gesture to the leaders in the city of Washington, I wonder if they imagined it would be celebrated a century down the road. According to the last report I checked, the first two trees planted still stand today!

This year the Cherry Blossom Festival is held from March 20 to April 27. Hundreds of thousands flock to the capital city to experience the cherry trees in bloom. For about two weeks (with the season's peak predicted to be this week!) all who attend can take in the sights and scents of spring offered by stunning bursts of fluffy white and lush pink.The festivities last beyond the blossoms; a parade, concerts, street performers, kite flying contests, and more are on the schedule.

Photos by the National Cherry Blossom Festival

During the years we lived in northern Virginia, we would drive up to explore Washington, D.C. every time our faraway family or friends came to see us . (Those trips give me material for posts I want to share with you later.)
We partook of The Cherry Blossom Festival and loved it! 
It was a real treat to stroll along the pathways lined with clusters of vibrant blossoms, overlooking the water. Such a beautiful way to welcome spring!

Another activity I'd recommend, if you're going to be in town in early April, is to attend the Japanese Stone Lantern Lighting Ceremony. The lantern was carved 360 years ago and it was another gift from Japan to the city of Washington in 1954. 
The lighting ceremony takes place on the north side of the Tidal Basin (Independence Ave and 17th Street SW) on April 8 at 3 p.m., with prelude music starting at 2:30 p.m.
 (please check place and time before you go!)

                    Happy 100 years, Cherry Blossoms! 

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