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Tea Ceremony and meaning of flowers

Posted on October 21, 2019 at 9:40 AM

Be careful when you encounter a new culture!!



Recently, I made a faux-pas bringing chrysanthemum to a Chinese ceremony. I am generally aware of the significance of flowers, but this time something went wrong.  :)

As I was attending a tea ceremony at the end of  a Tai Chi  workshop and we were all ready to take photos I saw the white flowers were being removed from the table.

What was the exact significance of white Chrysanthemum in chinese culture?

In Occident chrysanthemums are the flowers of November and for that reason often end up in cemetery. For the longest time the two were strongly associated in my mind. But I have to admit since I moved to the Unted States the mums and maybe specially the yellow daisy became more a symbol of happiness. The secular celebration of Halloween uses it to add colors to the any house and lost a bit of its griefing symbolism.

In  China it is more subtle as the color of the flower is very imporatant.

How can chrysanthemums be symbol- in China-  adversity, lamentation, and/or grief and at the same time symbol of autumn and the flower of the ninth moon, a symbol of longevity because of its health-giving properties?

I went to Wikipedia  and Daily China for  answers and here what they give us. 

WIkipedia 

Daily China

Because  the COLOR WHITE  is strongly associated with death you should never gift white mums.

No harm was done. Grand Master Zhu Tiancai was gracious.

We removed the white mums and began our photo session...

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