The ninth day of the ninth month was known as the “Choyo” Festival or the Chrysanthemum Festival.
It is influenced by the Chinese idea of regarding number 9 ( Sep.9th is two 9s. the same lucky odd numbers is “Choyo“) as lucky day, so people who celebrate the festival drink sake with chrysanthemum petals on, eat rice mixed with Japanese chestnuts, and pray their health and longevity.
In Japan, there are many traditional and historical events through year, some of them are“ The five seasonal festivals”. These festivals were originally celebrated for driving away evil spirits at the change of seasons, then they were considered as Tokugawa Shogunate’s official events around 17th century.
The five seasonal festivals: January 7th-“Rice Porridge with Seven Herbs of Spring”, March 3th-“Girls’ Festival”, May5th-“Boys’ festival”, July7th-“Star Festival”, September9th-“Chrysanthemum Festival”.
Chrysanthemums originally came from China, but chrysanthemums and cherry blossoms are both considered typical Japanese flowers. The chrysanthemums were believed to be auspicious flowers denoting longevity and eternal youth, and they were used as medicinal herbs in China.
Painters in China and Japan preferred to paint the chrysanthemum, orchid, bamboo, and ume (Japanese plum) flower, which were regarded as the four noble flowers, drawing in India ink. The chrysanthemum is also closely related to the Imperial Family. A chrysanthemum crest is used as the Imperial crest. It is an open chrysanthemum with sixteen complete radiated petals. The Imperial Court used to hold a banquet for chrysanthemum viewing on the day of the Chrysanthemum (Choyo) Festival. Today, chrysanthemum doll exhibitions and chrysanthemum flower shows take place in many places throughout Japan around September 9th.