Cherry blossoms on the Tidal Basin, Washington DC (courtesy Laura Padgett on Flickr CC)

Especially around the Tidal Basin area close to the Mall, springtime in Washington, DC means clouds of delicate pink cherry blossoms, thanks to 3,000 cherry trees given as a gift in 1912 by the mayor of Tokyo.

The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival draws millions to the US capital city, and this year (2012) is very special because it is the 100th anniversary of the original plantings.

Best guesstimates are that the blossoms will be at their peak March 24 – 31, 2012.

Cherry blossoms in bloom, Washington DC, probably in the 1920's (courtesy E.B. Thompson collection at DC Public Library on Flickr Commons)

As the historic photo above shows (no, it’s not Instagram, it really IS old) people have long enjoyed this time of year. The combination of white monuments and pink blossoms makes for a heady sight.

Have any of our readers seen the cherry blossoms in full bloom?

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I'm a writer and speaker specializing in tourism, travel and social media. NHRA drag racing fan. Co-founder of Tourism Currents. U.S. Navy veteran. Caffeinated.