"In the cherry blossom's shade there's no such thing as a stranger."
The fleeting beauty of cherry blossom season is almost upon us! Cherry blossoms are richly symbolic in Japanese culture, and in America, cherry blossom festivals -- also known as sakura matsuri -- commemorate Japan's gift of over 3,000 cherry trees to the United States in 1912.
There are festivals in the NYC area -- most notably at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and even in White Plains and Newark -- but they aren't nearly as renowned or extensive as the National Cherry Blossom Festival held annually in Washington, DC. An estimated 1 million visitors flock to our nation's capital for the 2-week event, which will be from March 26 to April 10 this spring. Timing is everything. If you go after peak bloom (which occurs later in the north), most of the blossoms will have fallen off the trees.
It has been too long since I've attended one of the cherry blossom festivals, so I'm planning a day visit to Washington, DC on one of the first two Saturdays of April. Road trip, anyone?
White Cherry Blossoms
|Sakura Matsuri at Brooklyn Botanic Garden|
Pale Pink Cherry Blossoms
|National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC|