Lantern Lighting Ceremony

Tidal Basin at Independence Avenue & 17th Street SW, Washington, DC

Every year a 350-year-old stone lantern is lit in the Thomas Jefferson Tidal Basin. This formal ceremony commemorates the 1912 gift to Washington D.C. of 3000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan. The event includes traditional Japanese performers, Washington dignitaries and the 70 Cherry Blossom princesses representing states, territories, and embassies. The lighting ceremony is held at the site of the first two cherry trees planted by Mrs. William Howard Taft and Viscountess Chinda in 1912.

Jointly coordinated by NCSS and the National Park Service, this traditional observance features remarks by the Japanese Ambassador, DC Officials, other dignitaries, and the lighting of the 357 year old stone lantern.  Music will be provided by The Washington Toho Koto Society and the Washington Japanese Choral Society.

There is no charge for this event.