November, in most parts of the world, is when the festivities officially begin. Our November aesthetic moodboard reflects this joy and fervor of celebration that knits the world in a warmth of ancestral legacy and sharing.
What begins in the middle of Allhallowtide, i.e., All Saints’ Day, is a whole month’s worth of festivals of lights and lanterns, harvest celebrations, rituals venerating the spirits, etc. What a lot of these events have in common is viewing this time of the year as a threshold to the dead of winter, a transition period of sorts that makes for permissibility of movement between different realms. In this regard, November is the month of magic, of bending rules and making the impossible possible.
Etymologically, the month gets its name from being the ninth month of the Roman calendar (novem meaning nine). Being the greatest single-digit number, nine represents a state of completion, a meaning that has been extended to November to symbolize the culmination of earthly life but also to serve as a reminder of the cyclical nature of life. Thus, it is also associated with wisdom and a higher state of consciousness.
The fundamentals of the November aesthetic
Chrysanthemums are the birth flowers of the Month of November. These mums are some of the most abundant and varying blooms found on the planet, with varieties like button poms, spider mums, anemones, football mums, etc. Chrysanthemums are the bearers of vitality during the season when the colors of autumn begin to fade and have come to depict fidelity, cheerfulness and luck.
Having originated in China, the Chrysanthemum is a symbol of nobility and one of the four seasonal flowers, as well as among the four gentlemen of China. Some parts of China celebrate the Chrysanthemum festival, the most notable of which is that of the Chrysanthemum City Zhongshan in November.
In Japan, mums are the symbol of the Imperial house and a token of happiness and the country celebrates National Chrysanthemum Day on September 9 (originally meant for the ninth day of the ninth month of the Lunar calendar).
The French, on All Saints’ Day or La Toussaint, place floral wreaths at the graves, which are predominantly made of chrysanthemums.
Astrologically, Scorpio, a water sign, is associated with November (October 23- November 22) and those born under the zodiac sign are generally known to be fiercely passionate and headstrong.
The gemstones of the month are topaz, linked to affection and the autumn-hued citrine or healing quartz.
“Welcome sweet November, the season of senses and my favorite month of all.”Gregory F. Lenz
Our November aesthetic for 2020 has a lot to do with the month’s celebrations like Diwali, the Indian festival of lights and Thailand’s Loi Krathong, held on the 12th full moon each year and marked by a flurry of floating lanterns replacing the stars in the sky, thus birthing the Yi Peng Floating Lantern Festival.
The month, with celebrations like the Day of the Dead and Remembrance Day, is also a time of looking back, reminiscing, honoring martyrs we’ve lost and cherishing the memories of whom we have loved. November 10 is observed as the Forget Me Not Day and the eponymous flowers have a history of being used to commemorate war veterans.
So press play on your comfort playlist, put on your fuzzy socks and the mandatory sweaters and keep handy your favorite cup of caffeine, any way you like. Bring the November aesthetic alive in your bedroom with a string of fairy lights, polaroids capturing the gems of your memories and a vase of fresh-cut chrysanthemums. Maybe get yourself a copy of that Gothic romance you were meaning to read or pick one from a November reading list and gear up to brace the cold.