The Christian holidays All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (on 1 and 2 November, respectively) are to me inevitably associated with the chrysanthemum, a flower that blooms in autumn.
By (or on) 1 or 2 November, most people in Belgium — where I grew up — will make sure to visit the graves of deceased family members and place chrysanthemums on the gravestones.
In my childhood, these chrysanthemums used to be large, pale, globe-shaped or spidery flowers. Nowadays, they’re round bushes with button-like flowers and strong colours.
The word ‘chrysanthemum’ comes to English, via Latin, from the Greek for ‘gold’ and ‘flower’.