ご挨拶 Greetings

ご挨拶 「 菊花開 」 秋分〜寒露 Greeting " Chrysanthemums Are In Bloom " From Autumn Equinox to Cold Dew*





It drizzles quietly for days at the beginning of autumn. The air is humid but cool and comfortable as if the hottest days seem like light-years ago.

According to 24 solar terms, the autumn equinox is divided into three periods: 雷乃収声, 蟄虫培戸, and 水始涸.  The first period, 雷乃収声, is when the stormy weather is getting settled down.  Second, 蟄虫培戸 is when the autumn insects are getting quieter.  There is little rain at the thrid period, 水始涸.  In this way, people in old times divided seasons into small components and gave names to each periods.  I am always impressed by their sensitive thoughts toward nature.

The next to autumn equinox is cold dew.  The second period of cold dew is 菊開花 which means that chrysanthemums are in bloom.

Chrysanthemum was treated as the elixir of immortality and brought from China around the end of the Nara period to the beginning of the Heian period.  On September 9th in the old Japanese calendar, there is the chrysanthemum festival called “Choyo no Sekku” in Japanese**.  On that day, the nobility in the Heian period gave chrysanthemums covered by floss-silk.  Also, they showed and compared their beautiful chrysanthemums and composed Japanese poems.  They loved chrysanthemums and accepted them as one of Japanese culture immedietly after they were introduced to Japan.

*​​Autumn Equinox/ Cold Dew: The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms.  “Autumn equinox” is the 16th solar term, starting from September 23rd.  “Cold dew” is the 17th solar term, starting from October 8th.

**In the current calendar, the chrysanthemum festival is on October 4th.



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