WASHINGTON—Each year, Washingtonians, as well as tourists from around the world, look forward to the blooming of the cherry blossoms, particularly around the Tidal Basin. A collection of 3,000 trees originated as a gift of friendship from Japan in 1912. It has since been expanded to about 3,750 trees, representing 16 varieties. According to the National Park Service, the peak bloom day, when 70 percent of the Yoshino cherry blossoms are open, fell on April 1 this year. In Japanese culture, the blushing blossoms are revered as a symbol of spring, hope, and renewal. Their ephemerality also makes them a symbol of the impermanence of life, a reminder that life is short but beautiful.