Following the darkness and confusion of the moonlit night, the Sun illuminates the once hidden path. The Sun’s radiant waves travel over 92 million miles to adequately sustain life on Earth. Sunlight is a critical ingredient for photosynthesis in plants, as it provides the energy to stimulate the synthesis of sugar. This life-giving energy is crucial for the light to see our environment and the warmth to thrive comfortably after a cold night. Humans thousands of years ago found security in the predictability of the sun’s cycles and the distinct sections created by the days with the most and least hours of daylight. The longest day of the year, the summer solstice, and the shortest day, the winter solstice, continue to serve as important benchmarks for the modern calendar.
The chrysanthemum flower gets its name from the Greek words chrysos and anthemon, which together mean “gold flower.” Ancient cultures such as the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians equated gold with the sun because of its capacity to resist extreme heat while still remaining firm. The Latin word for gold, aurum, is rooted in the name of Greek goddess of the sunrise, Aurora. The chrysanthemum flower’s abundant petals develop in the center and continue outwards in a radial pattern to create a symmetrical disc. The quantity of petals and their symmetrical arrangement makes the chrysanthemum a visual and metaphorical representation of the sun.