This is my fourth, and final, post in a series about the representations of flowers in the Chinese Lantern Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden this summer. Here are the previous ones:
Today, I’ve got photos of two lantern displays that talk about chrysanthemums, one of my favorite flowers because they put on such a beautifully colored display in the autumn.
First, let’s look at the Double Ninth Festival lantern.
The double nine is for the 9th day of the 9th month. In the lunar-based calendar used by China, that festival floats around in our October — this year, it’s on October 21.
According to the Guide book that accompanies the exhibit:
The Double Ninth Festival celebrates chrysanthemums. China boasts diversified species of chrysanthemums, and people have loved them since ancient times. So enjoying the flowering chrysanthemum is a key activity of this festival. People will drink chrysanthemum tea or wine, and women may put chrysanthemums into their hair or hang them in windows or doors to ward off evil. p. 16
The festival is also a time to celebrate and honor the elders and ancestors of a community.
Another showy display of chrysanthemums lines a pathway where day lilies bloomed earlier in the summer. The Guide tells us that there are 37 species in the genus Chrysanthemum — 13 of them are known only from China. Since the flowers bloom in the fall, they are associated with longevity and “people who maintain their virtue despite adversity and temptation.” What a lovely trait in a person!
If you aren’t familiar with chrysanthemums, here’s a photo of some real flowers — an annual display at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
The Lantern Festival has been extended due to popular demand. You have until August 30 to visit the Missouri Botanical Garden and see these beautiful lanterns.
Check out West Metro Mommy Reads today for more Saturday Snapshots.