PORTLAND -- The Japanese Gardens celebrates its annual Chrysanthemum Festival from now through Nov. 2 at the downtown Portland gardens with various exhibitions and demonstrations.
On Oct. 25-26, the celebration also includes the Kiku Matsuri, which is a two-day event featuring the Ikebana International Chrysanthemum Exhibition of flower arrangements.
The festival honors the age-old tradition of growing the multicolored mums, which have become the classic symbol of autumn, along with the Japanese maple.
Chrysanthemums are the official flower of Japan and have been grown there since the eighth century. The flower also is significant when it comes to the highest order of chivalry in Japan, known as the Order of the Chrysanthemum.
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The Kiku Matsuri honors the chrysanthemum and is one of five in a series of annual go-Sekku festivals in the traditional Japanese calendar.
The Portland Japanese Gardens have long epitomized the harmony with nature sentiment that the Japanese people have carefully cultivated for centuries.
The lushly grown gardens are situated above picturesque Washington Park, which overlooks Portland and the Willamette Valley near the Oregon Zoo.
The gardens, at 611 S.W. Kingston Drive, are open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through March 31 and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 1-Sept. 30.
Admission is $8 for adults, $6.25 for seniors and students, $5.25 for ages 6-17. Kids 5 and younger are free. The gardens will have a free admission day on Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day.
-- On the Net: www.japanesegarden.com
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; email@example.com