Cherry Blossom Fest: Cranes for Japan and a Magical Ceremony

Misako Ballet Company
Beautiful Kimonos adorned the Ceremony
This year, during the National Cherry Blossom Family Day opening ceremony, families were asked to create small cranes using origami.  These cranes are not that simple to make -- in fact it takes a lot of creativity, perserverance and group work.

But once all their hard work was finished, the families watched their prized possessions get taken away -- they were asked to give them up.

The cranes will then be shipped to the Bezos Family Foundation in Seattle whose goal is to partner with children around the world to support their Japanese peers.

A view of the big pink lanterns that hung from the rafters of the Museum

 The Foundation has pledged to donate $2 for every paper crane it receives from the National Cherry Blossom Festival for rebuilding efforts in Japan.

The ceremony was amazing, as it is every year.  But next year, for the Centennial celebration, we should expect an even more amazing show.  The focus this year is on our unconditional and lasting support for Japan.

We were especially touched by the smooth jazz piano performance by Keiko Matsui who played a beautiful rendition of "Cherry Blossom."

The Take Dancers were just as magically impressive, blending east and west athletic-art form to communicate universal health and happiness.
These kids are working hard with their parents in making origami.

Also just as wonderfully impressive was the Washington National Opera, Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists.  Both tenor, Jose Ortega and Maryland native, soprano Jennifer Lynn Waters wowed the audience and made the cheery, pink petals flutter all around the Tidal Basin.

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