5-(5)In Japan,重陽【CYOYOU】9th. September is called Seasonal Day of 重陽【CHOUYOU】.People celebrate it with full of chrysanthemum flowers, wishing for healthy and long life.

The seasonal traditional event of 菊【KIKU(chrysanthemum)】 hold on the day of 菊の節句【KIKU-no-SEKKU】. It is one of the popular 5 events in a year called 五節句【GO-SEKKU(Five-Seasonal Events)】which are settled in Edo era(1603‐1868).

(Other main seasonal events are )
・人日【JIN-JITSU】Eating Seven Porridge of Seven kinds of Herb on 1/7,
・桃【MOMO】or Peach flower Festival in Girl’s day on 3/3,
・菖蒲【SHOBU】or Japanese Iris Festival in Children’s day on 5/5,
・七夕【TANABATA】or Star Festival on 7/7 and
・重陽【CHOUYOU】or Chrysanthemum Festival on 9/9.

Recently, 重陽【CHOUYOU】is miner among 五節句【GOSEKKU】and it is seldom celebrated beside some local eras. In fact, it’s very elegant and wonderful event, and it is said it was the most popular of the five seasonal festivals until the 江戸【EDO period(1603-1867)】.
This time, I would like to introduce the charm of “Chrysanthemum Festival” with photos from the reenactment event held by us, 金魚亭【KINGYOTEI/GOLDFISH CHAF’E】.

When is the best to celebrate 重陽【CHOUYOU】?

重陽 Festival is held on 9th. September. In an old-lunar calendar(旧暦【KYUU-REKI(old calendar)】, it is October 4th. in 2022

▶ What’s 旧暦【KYUU-REKI】?

New calendar( called 新暦【SHIN‐REKI(New Calendar)】 is about 1 month faster than traditional seasonal events, so it seems better to celebrate these events according to old calendar, because chrysanthemums are full-bloomed in that season in October. So, we GOLDFISH CHAFE recommend you to start decorating from 9th.September until 4th.October.

What does “重陽【CHOUYO】” literally means?

The idea of 陰陽五行【IN -YOU/GO-GYOU】;Every things in the world can be divided into 陰【IN】Negative property,  陽【YOU/Yang】Positive property and five elements ;(火 Fire  水 water 木 wood 金  metal 土 soil).
This philosophy  is from ancient country called 秦【SHIN】which was placed at around nowadays China in 春秋【SYUNNJYUU】age(BC.8C-5C).
As for numbers, there are 陽(YOU/Positive)numbers which are divisible and 陰(IN/negative) numbers which can not be divisible. “Nine” is the largest number among positive numbers and it is said the most noble, highest rank number. So September 9th has the lucky number twice and  it seemed as very auspicious day.

What do you do in 重陽【CHOUYOU】?

被せ綿【KISE-WATA】literally means “covering cottons”.

It’s an old custom covering chrysanthemum flowers by silk cotton called 被せ綿【KISE-WATA】literally means “covering cottons”. Cover a piece of cotton over each chrysanthemum flower and left them over night.Then, wipe our face or body by the cotton it contained dew of flowers, wishing good health and long life time.


Drinking 菊酒【KIKU-SAKE】,cups of SAKE floated some petals of chrysanthemum flowers wishing their health and long lifetime. Otherwise, it may be made by soaking petals in 焼酎【SHOUCHUU】with crystal sugar, just making fruit wine.

How to decorate chrysanthemum flowers in 重陽【CHOUYOU】?

According to 陰陽五行【IN-YOU-GOGYOU】theory, flowers are arranged by the order
白【HAKU/SHIRO(White)】・紫【SHI/MURASAKI(Purple)】・紅【BENI/AKA(Red)】・黄【KOU/KI(Yellow)・黒【KURO(Black)】. In this case, Black is water in vase.
This is the way from 嵯峨御流【SAGA-GORYUU】, which is one of the stream of 生け花【IKEBANA(Japanese Flower Arrangement)】related to 宮中【KYUU-CHU(Old Royal Palace)】 in 京都【KYOUTO】.

2-(4)Foods in 重陽【CHOUYOU】event.

I’ll introduce dishes which are cooked with a help of local women and served at our event of CHOUYOU.
We used domestic products as much as possible for ingredients. Please check items if you were interested in.

栗ご飯【KURI-GOHAN】 Steamed Rice with Chestnuts.There is an old literature in 江戸(1603-1868) it says people eat Chestnuts Rice in CHOUYOU.

●秋野菜の煮物【NIMONO】Boiled vegetables of autumn vegetables (Taros, SHIITAKE Mushrooms,Carrots so on)
CHOUYOU is in the middle of crop season of autumn and they eat autumn vegetables.
We used TARO called 絹乙女【KINU-OTOME(Silk Maiden)】from 五泉【GOSEN-CITY】in 新潟【NIIGATA-PREFECTURE】, our home town. It is famous for silky white skin.

There is a custom to eat 菊【KIKU(chrysanthemum)】as edible flower in 新潟市【NIIGATA-CITY】. It is called かきのもと/もってのほか【KAKINOMONO/MOTTENOHOKA】.

お吸い物【O-SUIMONO】with a quail egg.
Make a small quail egg look like a full moon because the season of 中秋の名月【CHUUSHUU NO MEIGETSU(FULL MOON IN THE MIDDLE OF AUTUMN)】is near.

●秋の果物【KUDAMONO】Autumn fruits(Persimmon, Grapes)
柿【KAKI(Persimmon)】is a fruit Japan’s specialty. There is a proverb ”When the persimmon turns red, the doctor turns blue”.

佐渡【SADO-ISLAND】in 新潟【NIIGATA-PREFECTURE】is a large product place of おけさ柿【OKESA-GAKI】.There are many grape vineyards in 新潟市【NIIGATA-CITY】.

Table wares for 節句【SEKKU】

お膳【OZEN(Plate with legs)】 and お椀【OWAN】are 漆塗【URUSHI-NURI(JAPAN lacquer wear)】made of wood. 漆【URUSHI】has beautiful luster, shiny surface and it is representative of Japan.
There are 朱【SHU(RED)】and 黒【KURO(BLACK)】.

2-(5)Sleeping with 菊枕【KIKU-MAKURA(Chrysanthemum Pillow).

There were a habit to sleep with a pillow full of petals of KIKU flowers(it is rare in modern times,though).
I really tried it by making a pillow by myself, and it was absolutely great! It feels like my body tightens moderately with noble and pure aroma, then evil spirits were being sucked from the back of my head, around neck and shoulders. It was so good that I wanted to try it again, if possible, everyday.

2-(7)Climbing small mountains or hills.

In ancient China, there had been a custom to climb small mountains or hills and drink kiku sake and quisines wishing health, long life time.
We have 菊祭【KIKU-MATSURI(KIKU FESTIVAL)】at 弥彦【YAHIKO】mountain in 新潟【NIIGATA-PREFECTURE】every years in fall.

3. A story about 菊慈童【KIKU-JIDDOU(CHRYSANTHEMUM-BENEVOLENCE BOY)】.How to become immortal?

Once upon a time, very kind and talented boy served to a king. But one day, the boy accidently stepped over the king’s pillow and was banished to the mountains. At that time, the king send him a certain word and said “Keep these two phrases any time.” It was two lines of 法華経【HOKE-KYOU(Lotus-Sutra)】.

慈眼視衆生 【JIGANSHI SYUJYOU】 If you watch every mankind with eyes of benevolence,
福寿海無量 【 FUKUJYUKAI MURYOU】 Happiness and long life will coming like sea infinitely.

When the boy wrote these words on the back of a chrysanthemum leaf and drunk it’s dew, he became immortal. And even the water of river the dew was dropped became the miracle water of longevity.

Seven hundred years later, a messenger from the king of the time heard rumors of an immortal boy living in the mountains and came to meet him. The messenger was taught by KIKUJIDOU the way to perpetual youth and longevity. It’s drinking chrysanthemum petals in SAKE.

Then, is became a custom to climb mountains and drink KIKU-SAKE.
There is a program of “菊慈童【KIKU-JIDDOU】” in 能【NOH】, too.

4.Display HINA DOLLS with chrysanthemums

Until 明治【MEIJI ERA(1869‐1912)】, there was a custom to display HINA-DOLLS in 重陽【CHOUYOU】. HINA DOLLS are popular as displays of 桃の節句【MOMO NO SEKKU(Peach Flower Festival)】.

Let’s Enjoy Chrysanthemum Festival♪

How was it? The Chrysanthemum Festival is full of wonderful charms. Even at home, feel free to buy chrysanthemum flowers to decorate, or try the event food of the Chrysanthemum Festival. It would be nice to go out to chrysanthemum festivals and chrysanthemum fairs held in various places in Japan in fall.
The Aged Day is also approaching(19th.September), so why not hope for the health and longevity with your grandparents? Don’t forget to play for your anti-aging, too!

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