Posts tagged with "washington d.c."

US-Japan Friendship Blossoms in Full Bloom for Annual Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual springtime celebration in Washington, D.C., that honors the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from the city of Tokyo to the United States. The festival typically takes place in late March and early April, when the cherry trees around the Tidal Basin and other parts of the city are in bloom.

Early History

The first cherry blossom festival in Washington, D.C., was held in 1927. It was a small event, with just a few hundred people attending. However, the festival quickly grew in popularity, and by the 1930s, it was attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

World War II and the Festival’s Decline

The festival was interrupted during World War II, when the cherry trees were mistakenly thought to be a symbol of Japan and were cut down. After the war, the festival was revived, but it never regained its former popularity.

The Festival’s Revival 

In the 1960s, the festival was revived thanks to the efforts of First Lady Lady Bird Johnson. Johnson planted a new cherry tree in the Tidal Basin in 1965, and the festival was officially reinstated the following year.

The Festival Today

Today, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is one of the most popular events in Washington, D.C. It attracts over 1 million visitors each year. The festival includes a variety of events, such as parades, concerts, and art exhibits.

The Cherry Trees

The cherry trees that are the focus of the festival are a variety of Japanese flowering cherry called the Yoshino cherry. These trees are known for their beautiful pink blossoms, which typically bloom in late March and early April. There are over 3,800 Yoshino cherry trees in Washington, D.C., most of which are located around the Tidal Basin.

The Festival’s Impact

The National Cherry Blossom Festival has a significant impact on the Washington, D.C., economy. The festival generates over $100 million in revenue each year. It also helps to promote tourism in the city.

The Festival’s Future

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a cherished tradition in Washington, D.C. The festival is a reminder of the friendship between the United States and Japan, and it is a celebration of the beauty of nature.