The November of Flowers: Chrysanthemums
In honor of the new month of November, we thought a little history about one of nature’s most beautiful creations would be sufficient to share. Rooting from the Greek language, broke down to the meaning “flower of gold” or simply “golden flower” — the Chrysanthemum is the birthday flower for individuals who are born during this month, which gives it its relevance. Besides the chrysanthemum variety’s autumn arrival, you can find them at any time of year in many variations of flower groupings on its single dark green plant. Most importantly, you can find them all over the world!
Not only is the chrysanthemum a November specialty, its start traces back to the 15th century BC where it was prepared as a flowering herb in East Asia. In the Chinese culture, the chrysanthemum is known as one of the four plants apart of “The Four Gentlemen” set. Because of this, it is featured in grand amounts of art, including poetry, as a symbol of majesty. This flower’s leaves can be eaten when steamed and boiled, as well. Usually, in China is where individuals will prepare chrysanthemum leaves this way and pair them with chrysanthemum tea. It makes for a delightful summertime treat. If you’re in Korea, or at least plan to be at a point, ask about their rice wine, gukhwaju; they add chrysanthemum flowers to it to add flavor. Along medicinal lines, this addition to gukhwaju holds the presumption to lengthen life, clean the blood of certain toxins, and increase blood flow. Who doesn’t love a health-beneficial immersion?
Exploring further the health amenities of the chrysanthemum and its properties, it has a plethora of healing dynamics by itself and jointly with other herbs. It’s no wonder China and the cultures surrounding use it to prepare drinks and meals. With chrysanthemums’ combination with other herbs and ingredients, it can be useful in the treatment of high blood pressure, chest pain, headache, fever and cold, swelling, and even type 2 diabetes. This method will come in handy if you ever come to complain about any of the said symptoms. It’s vital to be mindful of all your options and resources for wellness when traveling, especially on international ground where you don’t frequent.
On a less physical level, the golden flower carries a few different symbolic associations. These associations differ from country to country and personify on certain occasions, cultures, and events. Backtracking to the mention of its origin, the chrysanthemum plays a role in a traditional Chinese holiday called the Double Ninth Festival. Every ninth day of the ninth month within the lunar year, this festival represents and celebrates the whole lot of things regarding longevity, which the chrysanthemum symbolizes. Therefore, the people of Chinese culture distinguish the Double Ninth Festival as Chinese Senior Citizens Day, granting each senior citizen the hope of long-lasting life and joy even in death.
Another custom that has chrysanthemums as the focal point is Japan’s Festival of Happiness, also known as the Chrysanthemum Festival. Long before the production of the festival, Japan followed suit from the Chinese culture, having chrysanthemums play a significant role in its lifestyle and development as an empire. The Imperial family at the time was so captivated by this flower, they used it as their formal seal and upon their throne. And so, it became a permanent emblem of the seat of the emperor and imperial family unit. In present-day Japan, chrysanthemums are applied to coins, passports, and different fabrics! There is an award that can only be accorded to Japanese citizens called the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum as well!
Now, these golden flowers do come in various colors; but be sure to know the meaning behind them all before delivering them to loved ones. The significance of each color chrysanthemum is similar in both Asian and European cultures. If you want to wish someone well in their time of grief, a white chrysanthemum is the best choice to use or deliver to them. For example, in Italian culture, if one were to find a freshly bedded chrysanthemum in a home, it is plausible to assume someone has passed. On the opposite side of the spectrum, in most foreign countries displaying red or pink chrysanthemums symbolizes love and affection – perfect for any occasion where you want to show your appreciation to your closest circle.
This golden flower’s basis, numerous properties, and interpretations intensify more than most think with many foreign countries. The chrysanthemum is centuries old and will continue to imprint the lives of many, particularly when they are traveling into new territory because of the value they hold to the culture. Don’t forget, when you do travel, consider the little things such as this. Cultures can be alike and deepen your understanding of what travel can mean. You can bring back appropriately learned customs to share with your friends and loved ones. Just like people in Australia, you can pick up the habit of associating chrysanthemums with Mother’s Day and furnish her with years of quaint chrysanthemums. If you choose to travel with Globally Abroad, you will surely be able to scout out more facts about a specific country’s case of chrysanthemums and their history.
GBA transforms the lives of minority youth into global citizens, by way of international travel.
By offering global opportunities ranging from language courses, community service projects, to internships, we encourage and provide international travel programs for minority youth for a chance to encounter diverse communities. Globally Abroad aims to help our participants build their own understanding of world events and culture as they encourage their own communities to do the same. We full-heartedly stand by our mission, which is why we intend to inspire action, break barriers of discrimination, and operate in excellence.