May 2013

Cherry Blossom Festival Celebrates Spring

Cherry trees in bloomCherry trees in bloom

Cherry trees in bloom
Visitors to the National Cherry Blossom Festival enjoyed views of the cherry blossoms and the Jefferson Memorial.

When the cherry trees bloomed this spring, beautiful pink-and-white blossoms were seen all over Washington, D.C. To celebrate these colorful flowers, many people went to the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival was held in the nation’s capital from March 20 to April 14.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the gift of 3,000 cherry trees that Japan gave to the United States in 1912. The trees were given to honor the growing friendship between the two countries. The first Cherry Blossom Festival was held in 1935.

The Cherry Blossom Festival has many events, such as art shows, a running race, and a parade. Many of the events celebrate Japanese culture. There is even a special kite festival held during the Cherry Blossom Festival, called the Blossom Kite Festival. During the festival, some buildings in the capital were lit with pink lights. This year, for the first time, buildings in Tokyo, Japan, were lit the same way.

Most of Washington, D.C.’s cherry trees grow in the Tidal Basin area. This area is known for its famous memorials, such as the Jefferson Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial. Visitors enjoy seeing these memorials with the cherry trees in bloom all around them. This year, more than one million people attended the Cherry Blossom Festival to see these beautiful sights.

Image credit: ©Corbis

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Question 1
Where is the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrated?

Question 2
Which country gave cherry trees to the United States?

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