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  • Pictures of the blossoms,  parade and festival 

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  • More info about the festival

Two Weeks in the Life of the D.C. Blossoms

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The cherry blossom festival held in Washington, D.C., each spring celebrates a gift of more than 3,000 cherry trees from the people of Tokyo. This year, the festival ran from March 23 to April 8.  

To the Japanese, the cherry trees, or "Sakura," are one of the most exalted flowering plants. The cherry blossom symbolizes the "evanescence of human life," the National Park Service writes.

Today, more than 3,700 cherry trees grow in three park locations in the nation's capital: around the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, in East Potomac Park and on the Washington Monument grounds, according the National Park Service.

Of the 12 varieties donated in 1912, two now dominate: The white-blossomed Yoshino cherry encircles the Tidal Basin and spills onto the Washington Monument grounds. The pink-blossomed Kwanzan cherry grows primarily in East Potomac Park, according to the National Park Service.


Copyright 2002 University of Maryland College of Journalism
Photos and text by Nicole M. Richardson
Published April 12, 2002

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