The year of 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of Japan’s gift to the United States to celebrate the growing friendship of the two nations at the turn of the century. Since then, the popularity of the blossoming of the cherry trees every spring has become one of the major tourist attractions in Washington, DC’s calendar. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is held during March and April and the hope every year is that the weather and the trees cooperate so that the blossoming period coincides with the festival. Over one million people are expected to attend the festival this year.
The Jefferson Memorial sits on the Tidal Basin behind cherry trees blossoming in Washington. March 19, 2012 marks the hundredth year since Japanese flowering cherry trees first graced the National Mall. Since then, more cherry trees have been planted throughout the city, which has become one of its trademarks.
A little known fact is that Washington’s cherry trees, although the most famous in the U.S., are not the largest. That honor goes to the Essex County, New Jersey Cherry Blossoms which usually bloom a few weeks after their competitors on the Potomac.
This winter’s unseasonably warm weather has caused Washington’s spring flowers and the famous cherry blossoms to bloom early.
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