National Cherry Blossom Festival: Stunning Photos of Trees in Bloom

More than a million will flock to the annual festival in Washington DC.

The National Park Service said it expects the trees to hit peak bloom on Wednesday, March 23 and Thursday, March 24, a bit earlier than most years. An estimated 1.5 million people are expected to visit the Tidal Basin this year to experience the glory of the fluttering pink and white blossoms.

Japan gifted the city of Washington 3,000 cherry trees in 1912 as a symbol of friendship with the United States. Since then, more than 3,750 flowering trees in more than a dozen varieties have grown on land owned by the National Park Service.

The peak bloom date refers to the point at which 70 percent of the blossoms on the cherry trees are open. Per annual tradition, the National Cherry Blossom Festival will take place to coincide with the bloom schedule.