September 9 is “Chou-you-no-Sekku”: How to spend the most auspicious day of the year

Have you ever heard of the culture known as “Chou-you-no-Sekku” (Chou-you-no-Sekku)?

This festival was established on September 9 and is said to have originated in China.

Also known as “Chrysanthemum Festival,” it is celebrated with chestnut rice and chrysanthemum wine to ward off evil spirits and celebrate longevity.

Although it is not a widespread culture in Japan, it is a part of the same festivals as “Momo no Sekku” Hinamatsuri on March 3 and “Tango-no Sekku” Children’s Day on May 5.

1:Why is September 9 called “Chou-you-no-Sekku”?



First of all, there are the “Five Seasonal Festivals” in ancient China.

These are January 1, March 3, May 5, July 7, and September 9. (Incidentally, November 11 does not count as a Seasonal Festival.)

In fact, the Chinese treated even numbers as yin numbers and odd numbers as yang numbers for good luck. Among them, 9 is the largest yang number, so it was designated as “Chou-you-no-Sekku.

However, on the other hand, it is also said that the overlapping yang numbers can easily cause disasters, so in order to balance them out, festive banquets were held to drive away evil spirits and wish for long life.

The interesting point here is that we have a sense of balance that too much multiplication of good things is not good.

And it seems that this Chinese “Five Seasonal Festivals” were introduced to Japan around the beginning of the Heian period (794-1185), firstly among the aristocracy and then spreading to other countries.

September 9 in the lunar calendar corresponds to about one month later in the modern calendar, so it is around the time when autumn flowers such as chrysanthemums bloom so that we can feel the atmosphere of autumn in the environment.

Since chrysanthemums were once believed to have the power to ward off evil spirits, people celebrated Chou-you-no-Sekku by enjoying drinks made from chrysanthemums to ward off evil spirits and wish for longevity.

 

2:Tea ceremony also has a tea party related to “Chou-you-no-Sekku” (Chou-you-no-Sekku)



So, do we have tea ceremonies related to “Chou-you-no-Sekku” in the tea ceremony? The answer is yes.

Wagashi (Japanese sweets) with chrysanthemum or chestnut designs are prepared, and kimonos decorated with chrysanthemum flowers are worn.

Tea utensils decorated with the image of chestnuts are also prepared.

In this way, the tea ceremony values each and every aspect of Japanese culture, and tea ceremonies are held in connection with these elements.

In this way, we can realize how much we are blessed and kept alive by the ever-changing nature.

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