Kiku no Kisewata (Chrysanthemum Covers, a custom of the Imperial Court in the Chrysanthemum Festival (菊の着綿)

Kiku no Kisewata is a custom of the Imperial Court held in Chrysanthemum Festival. It is also a season word of Choyo (one of the five seasonal festivals in the Edo period, which was taken place on September 9).

It is a custom of nobility in Heian period. On the Choyo day, the flower of chrysanthemum is covered with yellow floss silk, dyed with plant-dyes, and on the following early morning, yellow floss silk that absorbed morning dew is taken off the chrysanthemum. It is said that wiping the body with the morning dew soaked floss silk would keep illness away by healing properties of chrysanthemum.

There is a Chinese Legend that a person who drank water from a waterfall, of which there was a chrysanthemum garden at upstream where petals of chrysanthemum were soaked, had gained a long life. Also a boy who became immortal by drinking chrysanthemum dew appears in 'Makurajido' (Jido and Pillow, Noh play) as a Chinese historical event. Gaining the medicinal effect of chrysanthemum by taking it, and so on, is believed originally as a custom in China. Also people started drinking kikuzake (Japanese sake liquor with chrysanthemum blooms) in Muromachi period.

In earlier times, those were the customs remained in part of Kamigata region in Kyoto, but not practiced recently.

[Original Japanese]