Although spring has not quite officially sprung, it’s definitely around the corner. In fact, one of the most beautiful parts of spring is about to occur in Washington, D.C. Between March 17 and March 20, the Yoshino cherry trees in our nation’s capital will reach peak bloom.
Peak bloom occurs when 70 percent of the cherry blossoms have opened. Conditions have to be just right for a bloom to happen, so it can come early or late in the year depending on the weather.
According to the National Park Service, the bloom usually happens in the last week of March or the first week of April, so this year’s predicted time frame is a little on the early side. With optimal conditions, the blooms will stick around from a week or 10 days.
“They’re very fragile,” Mike Litterst, a spokesperson for the National Park Service, told The Washington Post.“That’s one of the reasons they’re such an attraction. If they came out and they stayed on the trees for a month, it wouldn’t be nearly as big a deal.”
To celebrate this beautiful annual occasion, the city hosts the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The festival is a celebration of spring as well as the friendship between United States and Japan, where cherry blossoms are symbolic of the fragility of life.
D.C.’s cherry blossom festival takes place this year from March 17 through April 15, and features a number of events, including a parade, a gala, musical performances, a kite festival and fireworks. There are also various guided tours around the city to see the blooms.
Here’s a close-up shot from last year’s bloom:
Here’s another gorgeous shot that really shows off their pink hue:
Here are people enjoying the blossoms on their peak bloom day last year, which fell on March 25:
If you aren’t able to make it to Washington, D.C. for the cherry blossom bloom, don’t worry. There are several other locations throughout the United States in which the blooms can be seen, including around Boston’s Charles River; the Capitol Mall in Salem, Oregon; the Cherry Blossom Walk in Nashville; Branch Brook Park in Newark, New Jersey; the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis; the University of Washington in Seattle; the Dallas Arboretum; and throughout orchards in the Traverse, Michigan area.
Have you ever seen cherry blossoms in full bloom before?