Chrysanthemum Festival 9 9


Chrysanthemum Festival (chooyoo)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Late Autumn
***** Category: Observance


September 9, the ninth day of the ninth lunar month ...
Now mostly held in October, celebrating the end of the harvest time.

Now October 26, 旧重陽 Old Lunar Chrysanthemum Festival

It was one of the five special "double" days with double prime numbers, which are auspicious in the Lunar calendar,
like January 1, March 3, May 5 and July 7.

Chrysanthemums were introduced into Japan around the 8th century AD, and Emperor Gotoba 後鳥羽 (1180-1239) adopted this flower as his official seal.

Details are here :
. Chrysanthemum, Kiku, the PLANT and its kigo

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露ながら 折りてかざさむ 菊の花
老いせぬ秋の 久しかるべく

tsuyu nagara orite kazasamu kiku no hana
oite senu aki no hisashikarubeku

Let's pluck and wear you,
O chrysanthemum flower,
while there's still dew --
that never-aging autumn
must then abide forever.

Ki no Tomonori 紀友則

The association of chrysanthemums with long life was imported from China along with their use in the longevity festival on the Ninth of the Ninth Month, which at the time fell some time in what's now October. According to Chinese folklore, drinking the dew off a chrysanthemum retarded aging or even, in some circumstances, granted immortality. Strictly speaking the wish is "for a (very) long time," but the effect (especially combined with "not aging") is close to "forever."

source : lnhammer.livejournal.com


chooyoo 重陽 (ちょうよう) "double prime number nine"
..... chookyuu 重九(ちょうきゅう)"double nine"
Double Nine Day

kyuukyuu can also be writen 久久, meaning "long life".

kiku no sekku 菊の節供(きくのせっく)chrysanthemum ritual

kyoo no kiku 今日の菊(きょうのきく)chrysanthemum of today
..... kiku no hi 菊の日(きくのひ)day of the chrysanthemum
(Kyu Kyu Day)

chooyoo no en 重陽の宴(ちょうようのえん)
banquet in honor of the chrysanthemum

kiku no sake 菊の酒(きくのさけ)chrysanthemum sake

kariage no sekku 刈上の節供(かりあげのせっく)
seasonal festival to celebrate the end of harvest time

sankunichi 三九日(さんくにち)three days with a nine
..... mikunichi 三九日(みくにち)
. mikunichi nasu みくにち茄子(みくにちなす)
eggplants eaten on the three days with a nine

the 9th, 19th and 29th of the ninth lunar month, now placed in october.


. kiku no kisewata 菊の着綿 (きくのきせわた)
"chrysanthemum cotton garment"
kiku no kisewata 菊の着綿 (きくのきせわた)
"chrysanthemum cotton blanket"
..... kiku no wata 菊の綿(きくのわた)chrysanthemum cotton
kiku no somewata 菊の染綿(きくのそめわた)

On the 8th of the 9th lunar month (one day before the Chrysanthemum festival) cotton silk floss covers were placed outside over the chrysanthemums to catch the evening dew. On the morning of the 9th, these garments were used to wrap the body of court ladies, a custom since the Heian Period. This was said to ward off evil and lead to a healthy ripe old age.
After this day, summer cotton garments were put away and the winter garments came into use.

Sweets called "Kisewata"


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okunichi (おくにち) "Honorable Day with a Nine"
okunchi おくんち、kunchi くんち
The ninth of the ninth month.
Nowadays often celebrated on the 9th of october.

This is especially celebrated in Kyushu,
Nagasaki Okunchi 長崎おくんち is the most famous, with parades and a lion dance.
It began as a celebration of autumn harvests in the late 16th century and became a shrine festival when Suwa Shrine was founded in 1642. Another purpose was to check for hidden Christians after the ban on Christianity. This is still evident today in the custom of garden showing (庭見せ, niwamise), when the presenting neighbourhoods open up their homes to public scrutiny ...
October 9 to 11
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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- - - - - famous festival floats (and toys)

. kujira no shiofuki 鯨の潮吹き whale spouring, blowing .

. Kokkodesho コッコデショ The Flying Drum .


Hakata Okunchi 博多おくんち

Karatsu Okunchi 唐津おくんち
The festival, which begins on the evening of November 2 and concludes on 4th, features daily parades of fourteen hikiyama, massive floats in the form of samurai helmets, sea bream, dragons, and other fantastical creatures, all constructed from wood, lacquer, and other materials.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. Karatsu hikiyama 唐津曳山 festival floats as toys .

. Reference .


CLICk for more, from japanese.china.org.cn

takaki 高きに登る (たかきにのぼる) "climbing high up"

tookoo 登高(とうこう)
gumi no fukuro 茱萸の袋(ぐみのふくろ)bag with silverberries
gumi no sake 茱萸の酒(ぐみのさけ) sake with silverberries

An old Chinese custom with a wish for a long, prosperous life.
On the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, a bag with silverberries was carried to a high place in the neighbourhood, then the fruit put in sake and the drink enjoyed as a toast to the deities.

gumi, a plant of the Elaeagnus family.
. . . CLICK here for Photos of the gumi bag offerings !


tooka no kiku 十日の菊 (とおかのきく)
chrysanthemums on the tenth

kochooyoo, ko chooyoo 小重陽(こちょうよう)
"small chooyoo festival"
zangiku no en 残菊の宴(ざんぎくのえん)
banquet of the remaining chrysanthemums
gonichi no kiku 後日の菊(ごにちのきく)
chrysanthemums on the next day

This is also a custom from China, but it has not taken such a hold in Japan.

There is a Japanese proverb

muika no shoobu, tooka no kiku
六日の菖蒲 十日の菊
lilies on the sixth,
chrysanthemums on the tenth

meaning being late for an event, not to make it in time.

Miidera ya tooka no kiku ni kosakazuki

Temple Miidera -
for the chrysanthemums on the tenth
a small cup of ricewine

Morikawa Kyoroku 森川許六
one of the famous gread disciples of Matsuo Basho

Mii Temple 三井寺 Miidera and Haiku


nochi no hina 後の雛 (のちのひな) "the next doll festival"
aki no hina 秋の雛(あきのひな)"dolls in autumn"
kikubina 菊雛(きくびな) chrysanthemum dolls

. Hina Doll Festival (hina matsuri 雛祭)
March 3 (the double three date)

In some regions, mostly in Osaka, Tokushima, Ise and others in Western Japan, it is custom to decorate the hina dolls on this day.
Others decorate them on hassaku, the first day of August.
Small straw dolls are also released on the rivers and along the coast in the evening.

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Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Weddings in Taiwan on September 9, 2010

TAIPEI, Taiwan –
One hundred sixty-three couples in Taiwan were married in a mass ceremony at 9:09 a.m. Thursday, the ninth day of the ninth month of the 99th year since the founding of their republic.

The word for nine in Chinese sounds exactly like the word for longevity, so there was method in the decision by Taipei city authorities to organize the nine-nine-nine-nine-nine-nine nuptials when they did.
source : news.yahoo.com

double nine
and ninety-nine years -
how lucky you are !

Gabi Greve, September 9, 2010


Double Ninth Day...
I step on the shadows
of newlyweds

Chen-ou Liu, Canada

Some people living in the rural areas believe that if you step on a shadow, you will bring bad luck, or even suffering, to its owner.


hayaku sake Kunichi mo chikashi kiku no hana

Chrysanthemum Haiku by
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


yamadera ya kate no uchi naru kiku no hana

mountain temple --
here, too, they serve
chrysanthemum petals

Tr. Chris Drake

This hokku is from the 9th month (October) of 1819, the year Issa chronicles in Year of My Life. Every year on 9/9 the Chrysanthemum Festival was held, and in the 9th month various exhibits of chrysanthemums were held. Chrysanthemum petals had been drunk since the ancient Nara period, and in Issa's time the wine drunk at the 9/9 festival with petals in it was believed to ensure long life. Chrysanthemum petals were also widely used as a side dish or sprinkled on salads, sashimi, sushi, tempura, and other dishes. The petals were also used in several herbal medicine mixtures.

Issa seems to have visited a secluded mountain temple that, like many other temples, provides meals to visitors, and he is surprised to find chrysanthemum petals even here. Presumably the petals have been sprinkled on vegetarian dishes at the temple and are a treat during the 9th month for both monks and visitors.

Chris Drake

. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .

kiku no sake 菊の酒 chrysanthemum sake
. WKD : Edible blossoms, edible flowers 食用の花 .


chooyoo ya riyadoro-bina o tokonoma ni

double nine day -
we decorate Lladro-dolls
in the tokonoma

source : 京羅坊(kyorabo)


- For two good haiku friends -

to grow old
gracefully ...
chrysanthemum festival

Gabi Greve,September 2010

Related words

***** Chrysanthemum (kiku)

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facebook said...

I wish them all the luck... we need luck filled families in the world. 999@909 got to be significantly fortuitous! hmmm... is 163 a prime number?

. . .

and more in facebook

Anonymous said...

山中や 菊はたおらぬ 湯の匂 
yamanaka ya kiku wa taoranu yu no nioi

Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉
(on 9 9 day)

"We bathed in the hot springs, which were said to be second only to Ariake in effectiveness:

Yamanaka! / chrysanthemums unpicked / redolent waters

yamanaka ya / kiku wa taoranu / yu no nioi "


Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...


hayaku sake / Kunichi mo chikashi / kiku no hana

Matsuo Basho

Gabi Greve said...

chooyoo ya wan no makie no koto gotoshi

Chrysanthemum Festival -
in the bowl this laquer image
almost the same
Tr. Gabi Greve

. Hasegawa Kanajo 長谷川かな女 .

about maki-e

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

sake nomanu mono irubekarazu kiku no kado

"no nondrinkers
allowed" -- chrysanthemums
by the door

This autumn hokku is from the 9th month (October) of 1822, when Issa was in the area near his hometown. One name for the 9th lunar month was the Chrysanthemum Month, because chrysanthemums came into bloom then and especially because the Chrysanthemum Festival, one of the five large seasonal festivals, was held on 9/9. Actually it was held from 9/8 to 9/10, so it was a very big festival during which people went around and greeted all their neighbors and relatives and friends to wish them good health and a long life. According to Daoist legend, chrysanthemums were such a vigorous and refined flower that if you drank dew from the petals of certain large chrysanthemums growing in the mountains, you could live an extraordinarily long life. The next best thing to that was to drink "chrysanthemum sake," or sake with chrysanthemum petals in it, which was believed to protect the drinker from sickness and bestow long life. Numerous cups of chrysanthemum sake were exchanged during the Chrysanthemum Festival at parties and during visits to people's houses to make festival greetings.

Since the Chrysanthemum Festival was held around the time of the fall harvest, informal festivities tended to be extended far beyond 9/10, and for chrysanthemum lovers the 9th month could almost be called the Sake Month, since drinking chrysanthemum sake was thought to be healthful, and the mood was festive and favored tipsy merrymaking. Raising chrysanthemums was one of the most popular hobbies in Japan during Issa's time, at least among those who had a little wealth, but Issa points out that houses with chrysanthemums planted by or near their front doors or gates tend to have owners who like to drink and to vigorously share their chrysanthemum sake with anyone who drops in. Chrysanthemums aren't simply flowers at this time but a kind of warning sign for visitors to read.

Chris Drake

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

tokonoma 床の間 alcove for decorations, art nook

- part of the entry about
. Interior Design - The Japanese Home .

Gabi Greve said...

Sake 酒 for rituals and festivals


Gabi Greve said...

Fukui - Takefu Chrysanthemum Doll Festival たけふ菊人形
Early October to early November
Takefu is the best known for chrysanthemum dolls. There are about 8,000 pots containing flower varieties like Ogiku, Kogiku and Kengai on display.

Gabi Greve said...

Chinese poem

九月九日 望郷臺
他席他郷 客を送るの杯
人情已に厭う 南中の苦
鴻雁那ぞ 北地從り來る
くがつここのか ぼうきょうだい
たせきたきょう かくをおくるのはい
にんじょうすでにいとう なんちゅうのく
こうがんなんぞ ほくちよりきたる