Washington D.C. turns pink in celebration of the Sakura Matsuri
By Charmaine Cleveland
This spring Washington D.C. will celebrate the centennial anniversary of its annual Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri) beginning March 20th, and lasting until April 27th.
The month long festivities will commemorate the gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo, in 1912, a symbol of a long lasting friendship between Japan and the United States. While most festivals last only two weeks, this year’s celebration will extend nearly a month with the expected number of over one million visitors.
Attendees of the festival can expect a variety of activities, ranging from social gatherings to fireworks and concerts in the park. Restaurants will also be adjusting their menus, embracing the spirit of the Sakura by catering food in pink. Following the blooms in their prime will be the Cherry Blossom Festival and Parade on April 14th, along Constitution Avenue.
For those looking to experience Japanese culture this spring, the Cherry Blossom festival provides ample opportunity to experience a long running cultural tradition. The exhibitions provide an educational experience for viewers of all ages, while the picturesque setting of the Sakura surrounding the title basin makes buying postcards almost obsolete.
Educational experience sound boring to you? That’s ok.