Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
Today another nice prompt for late autumn. As you all know ... the Chrysanthemum is THE flower of autumn and in Japan they have a so called Chrysanthemum Festival Chooyoo. Japan has a lot of festivals and every region has his own festivals. Chooyoo is just one out of many. As today this festival is our prompt I love to tell something more about this festival.
Chooyoo (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.
O chrysanthemum flower,
while there's still dew --
that never-aging autumn
must then abide forever.
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." A nice haiku written by Kobayashi Issa:
here, too, they serve
On this night of a clear moon
And hazy frost.
As you all know the Classical Japanese Culture had several great festivals, such as the 'Cherry Blossom Festival' and 'Tanabata', but they also had a big festival on September 9th. That festival was called 'Cho yo no Sekku', this means 'The Chrysanthemum Festival'. The Chrysanthemum is a season word for autumn. I think Chrysanthemums are wonderful season bound flowers in so much different colors and species and they are a wonderful theme for haiku.
And what do you think of this piece by Basho. I have used this haiku for one of my other weblogs in which I try to write haiku inspired on haiku by Basho (as we do with the Specials every month).
which is better this morning
Chrysanthemums are beautiful. I personally love white chrysanthemums mixed with red roses. Maybe I will use that in my haiku.
gazing at the Milky Way -
colorful chrysanthemums exposed
for todays festival