February is National Cherry Month in the United States, as it celebrates two different cherry related activities. For many people, the cold weather of February doesn’t translate into the picking cherries, but National Cherry Month is connected to the very beginning of America.
Why Is February National Cherry Month?
The first reason February is National Cherry Month is due to George Washington’s birthday and one of the most famous urban legends in the United States concerns George Washington and a cherry tree.
The legend has it that as a small kid, George Washington used a hatchet to bring down the cherry tree in his father's yard. According to reports, when George was challenged by his father about the event, he said, "I just don't have it in me to lie. A hatchet was used to make the incision."
The tale has been told for years to illustrate George Washington's upright character. Nonetheless, the anecdote is largely thought to be a fabrication fabricated by Mason Locke Weems, an early biographer of Washington, in an effort to promote the image of Washington as a moral and noble man despite the lack of historical evidence to support the claim.
The Second Reason February is National Cherry Month
The second reason for National Cherry Month to be celebrated in February is National Cherry Blossom Festival held annually in Washington, D.C. Every year as the cherry blossom trees bloom in Washington, D.C., the city hosts a festival in their honor.
When the cherry blossoms bloom determines when the celebration is held each year, usually late February, March or early April. However, before the blossom burst into amazing beauty, visitors are able to enjoy the cherry blossom buds on the trees.
The cherry blossom trees in the nation's capital were a gift from the citizens of Tokyo, Japan to those of the United States.
As a gesture of goodwill between the two countries, Tokyo Mayor Yukio Ozaki sent Washington, D.C. 3,800 cherry blossom trees in 1912.
Approximately 70% of the trees received from Mayor Ozaki are Yoshino cherry trees and these are typically among the earliest trees to bloom.
Since its inception in 1935, festival has grown to become one of the city's most anticipated annual celebrations. There will be a kite festival, fireworks, and a lantern-lighting ceremony, among other events and activities, at the festival.
Live performances, cultural demonstrations, food stands, and artisan booths will also be present for guests' convenience. Many of the city's museums, galleries, and landmarks also provide cherry blossom-themed exhibits and tours throughout the festival.
The festival is a homage to the enduring relationship between the United States and Japan, and a celebration of the beauty and symbolism of the cherry blossom trees.
Every year, millions of people from all over the world go to this festival because it is a must-see for anybody interested in nature, culture, or the arts.
Here are a few ideas to enjoy National Cherry Month 2023:
- Celebrating with remembering the story of the George Washington – Click Here for an informative info graphic
- Visit Washington, DC to enjoy the annual festival
Enjoy some great tasting cherry recipes to celebrate by adding some cherry juice, dried cherries or other cherry-based recipes to your February meals.
Download this free recipe cookbook that is pack full of great tasting recipes for every meal of the day.