9th of September is one of five seasonal celebrations of Japan. The celebration is either called Double Yang Festival: Chouyou no Sekku (重陽の節句）or Chrysanthemum Festival: Kiku no Sekku （菊の節句).
Contents: What is the celebration for? What Chouyou (重陽）means? My childhood experience How I celebrate this day in Australia Let's read in Japanese!
What is the celebration for?
The festival is celebrated in the wish for the longevity and prosperity of one's life. As it was the season for Chrysanthemum in old calendar system and it has some health benefits, the flower is used in this celebration.
What Chouyou (重陽）means?
In Chinese ancient philosophy of Yin and Yang (陰陽）, it is believed that everything in natural world has dual side like "dark-light" or "negative-positive". It is a concept that opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent and they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.
Number nine is considered as yang in this philosophy, so 9th of September is considered not balanced with to much yang. 重 means layered or double and 陽 means light or positive.
Chrysanthemum is considered to have cleansing qualities and is used for purifying air for its fragrance and treat some illnesses.
My childhood experience
September is the beginning of autumn in Japan. On this day, my mother would prepare celebration dishes using seasonal ingredients such as chestnut rice, edible chrysanthemum petals in citrus sauce (fish stock, soy sauce, yuzu), autumn eggplant, and clear bream stock soup with chrysanthemum petals.
If I visit my grandfather on this day, he would be drinking sake with edible chrysanthemum in it. I have never tasted this before, but I assume it would have refreshing aroma.
How I celebrate this day in Australia
This year, I made Ikebana display for the classroom. I enjoyed chrysanthemum ball tea during the day that I bought from the tea shop. It was joyful to watch the flower blooming in the clear glass tea cup. The tea is believed to have good health benefit as well.
As edible chrysanthemum is not so common in here. I have discovered marigold petals in my garden can replace some of chrysanthemum dishes. It starts to bloom in this time of the year in Brisbane and petals has similar taste. The picture is home made sake called Doburoku (made with rice, kouji, and water) with marigold petals.
To end the day, I will relax and enjoy marigold flower foot bath with some bi-carb powder to enjoy the new season and take time for myself to look after the health.
Enjoying these types of seasonal celebration has health benefit like mindfulness activity to slow yourself down, take a moment to observe your condition, feel that you are a part of the nature, enjoy and appreciate everyday life.
Why don’t you join me to celebrate chrysanthemum festival! Please let me know, how you enjoyed it.
日本語（にほんご）で読（よ）んでみよう！: Let's read in Japanese!
季節（きせつ）: season 始（はじ）め：beginning
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