When the cherry trees bloom, spring in Washington, DC, is magical — transforming into a fairy tale setting of historical monuments framed with delicate pink and white blossoms. It is a place where a soft breeze can send petals floating through the air, almost like a springtime version of snow.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival was started in 1935 to commemorate the 1912 gift of 3,020 cherry trees from Japan to Washington, DC, as an international gesture of friendship. The festival now spans four weeks. While the cherry blossoms are the festival's star feature, it includes a parade, street food, entertainment, and many events throughout the month.
The Yoshino cherry trees are the most celebrated cherry trees of the festival, and it is their peak bloom that most visitors wish to experience. Even though there are a dozen cherry tree varieties in Washington, they do not all bloom simultaneously. Still, the blooming season coincides with almost the entire festival. So no matter when you arrive, it's guaranteed you'll see some cherry blossoms. Without traveling to Japan, this is one of few places on Earth where you can experience the Japanese custom of Hanami or watching blossoms. More than 1.5 million visitors travel to our nation's capital annually to celebrate this occasion.
I am the 8th photographer in 4 generations of my family. Back in 2006, my husband accepted a job traveling, and I jumped at the chance to go with him.
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