2:30pm – 4:30pm
Tidal Basin at Independence Avenue and 17th Street SW, Washington DC
In addition to celebrating the new Japanese Rock Garden and the 66th Anniversary of the NCSS Cherry Blossom Princess Program - "Aspiring Leadership and Empowering Young Women", this venerable ceremony marks the 61th annual lighting of the Japanese Stone Lantern on American soil. The event is put on by NCSS, in conjunction with the National Park Service National Capital Region.
The ceremony includes traditional music by the Toho Koto Society of Washington, DC., and songs by the Washington Japanese Choral Society. The Joint Armed Forces Color Guard of the Military District of Washington presents the colors.
The Japanese Stone Lantern, 8.5 feet tall and weighing 4,000 pounds, was carved nearly four centuries ago to honor the Third Shogun of the Tokugawa period. In 1954, the lantern was presented to Washington as a gift commemorating the 100th anniversary of America’s first treaty with Japan. Since then, the Stone Lantern is lit once each year by the Princess representing the Embassy of Japan, and only during the Cherry Blossom Festival. It stands 50 feet east of the first two cherry blossom trees planted by First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Iwa Chinda of Japan on March 27, 1912.
The concert and ceremony are free and open to the public.