How to Enjoy the Double Yang Festival

In the Double Yang Festival, it is said that people didn’t merely enjoy appreciating the flowers planted in their gardens, but also created various customs to enjoy. It is our pleasure to introduce some of them here.

Chrysanthemum Competition photo:Chrysanthemum Competition

It is said people enjoyed competing in composing waka, Japanese 31-syllable poems created from 5 and 7 syllables, treating chrysanthemums and holding shows such as the Chrysanthemum Exhibition to this day to appreciate the beauty of the flowers. The event continues in the present day and is held throughout the nation from around October.

Chrysanthemum Cotton Cover photo:Chrysanthemum Cotton Cover

We cover chrysanthemum flowers in the garden with cotton and wait for one night so that the night dew with the scent of chrysanthemums soaks thoroughly into the cotton. The next morning, we wipe our skin with the cotton containing the chrysanthemum dews to pray for good health and longevity brought by these medicinal flowers. This custom is called Kiku no Kisewata (Chrysanthemum Cotton Cover).
It is believed that particular colors of cotton were used to cover particular colored flowers, i.e. white cotton for red flowers, yellow cottons for white flowers and red cotton for yellow flowers.

Chrysanthemum Sake photo:Chrysanthemum Sake

In the chrysanthemum parties said to have been held in the courts during the Heian Period (circa 794-1192), aristocrats floated chrysanthemum flowers in sake cups and tasted its fresh medicinal aroma. We also recommend enjoying the sake in a modern style using a glass.

Chrysanthemum Bath & Pillows

People prayed for beauty and good health by taking a chrysanthemum bath with the flowers floating in the tub and sleeping on a pillow which contained chrysanthemum potpourris. The plant used for the bath is the wild ancestor of chrysanthemums called Ryuno Giku (Chrysanthemum japonicum). To this day, you can find this flower in the fields and mountains of Japan.

Japanese Sweets & Chrysanthemum Cuisine photo:Japanese Sweets & Chrysanthemum Cuisine

Seasonal elements play a key role in the world of Japanese sweets and cuisine. In autumn, we celebrate the Double Yang festival on September 9th and make a number of attractive sweets of high quality and Japanese cuisine using edible chrysanthemums.