Each and every year in celebration of an almost unshakable bond between the United States and Japan – once two bitter enemies and now two of the closest friends – the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC is a once in a lifetime event that you simply cannot miss. A gift from the Japanese to symbolize the friendship and enduring respect in 1912, watching these cherry blossoms bloom each and every spring has become a truly transformative moment that people look forward to all year round.
Three weeks of incredible entertainment and excitement at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC
Now home to well over 3000 different cherry trades lifted all over the city at different times since the initial 1912 gift by luminaries, politicians, and celebrities – as well as everyday citizens – you’ll be able to join the more than 1.5 million people who come to Washington, DC just to see the blossoming cherry trees in their splendor and beauty. The entire event lasts for three whole weeks, not only celebrating the friendship between these two truly amazing nations and the natural beauty of the cherry trees, but also the unique culture of the Japanese, the history that we share with this nation, and a remembrance for the unbreakable bonds that exist on a global scale.
You’ll be able to tour any of the cherry trees inside of the city limits all on your own, but you’ll really be able to enjoy things more thoroughly as well as come away with a deeper understanding for why these plants are so symbolic if you take any of the ranger led programs supported by the National Park Service. These tours really unlock all of the secrets that these cherry trees have hidden from the general public, and you’ll have an incredible understanding of their meaning at the conclusion of your tour.
Because of the long schedule that the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC enjoys – 21 days of incredible events, music, culture, and learning – you can also enjoy and celebrate some of the art of Japan, participate in an official Japanese stone lantern lighting ceremony, enjoy beautiful music produced by seven award-winning artists live throughout the ceremony, and so much more. There is literally something for everyone at these events, including the 47th annual Cherry Blossom Rugby Tournament – a two day battle of the very best rugby teams from around the nation all competing for the honor of walking away as the undisputed champion.
You’re not landlocked when you want to enjoy the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC
Because of the unique location of many of the cherry trees that have been planted throughout DC, you don’t have to enjoy them only from the comfort of the cold hard ground – you can also take several different guided boat tours or cruises up and down the Potomac River to see the cherry trees planted near the Jefferson Memorial, tidal basin, as well as take in the incredible views of our nation’s capital that can only be seen from the waterways.
If you’d rather have a little bit more freedom to go about your tour of Washington, DC, then there are boats to rent ranging in size from many yachts to cruise the river all the way down to paddleboats that you can have a more casual and fun time exploring in.
Absolute can’t miss events
And while much of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC’s self-guided or relatively self-guided, there are a handful of events that you’ll not want to miss. These include the Festival Launch and Fundraiser Luncheon, the official Japanese stone lantern lighting ceremony, any of the Spirit of Washington Cherry Blossom dinner cruises, and the Cherry Blossom Grand Ball with the Official Coronation of the US Chary Blossom Queen.
While DC is widely regarded as one of the most exciting cities around the world filled with rich culture and history, you would be at least a little bit crazy not to check out the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC at least once in your lifetime.
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