Double Ninth Festival

The Double Ninth Festival, also known as Chongyang Festival, is held on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. The festival began as early as the Warring States Period (475 – 221 BC). The number nine is regarded as yang. The ninth day of the ninth month is a double yang day, hence the name “Chong Yang Festival”.
 
On that day, people went outside and climbed mountains together, and engaged in many other activities, such as enjoying the chrysanthemum, inserting Zhuyu, eating Chongyang cakes, and drinking chrysanthemum wines, among others.
 
Climbing mountains or towers was supposedly started during the East Han Dynasty. Ancient literary figures have left many poems depicting the activity. Even today, people still swarm to famous or little known mountains on this day.
 
Two guys are cheering on the top of the mountain on Double Ninth Festival.

Two guys are cheering on the top of the mountain on Double Ninth Festival.

During the Tang Dynasty, inserting Zhuyu on the Chongyang Festival became popular. Ancient people believed that inserting Zhuyu helped avoid disasters.

Double Ninth Festival is also a festival for old people. Old people in Xian are inserting Zhuyu in the earth.

Double Ninth Festival is also a festival for old people. Old people in Xian are inserting Zhuyu in the earth.

Chrysanthemum blooms on this festival. China boasts diversified species of chrysanthemum and people have loved them since ancient times. So enjoying the flourishing chrysanthemum also becomes a key activity on this festival.

A group of people are appreciating chrysanthemum in the Garden in this festival.

A group of people are appreciating chrysanthemum in the Garden in this festival.

 

A group of people are appreciating chrysanthemum in the Garden in this festival.

A group of people are appreciating chrysanthemum in the Garden in this festival.

On this day, people will eat Double Ninth Gao (Chongyang Cake). In Chinese, “gao” has the same pronunciation with “height”. People do so just to hope progress in everything they are engaged in.

 

The Chongyang cake is also called Five-Color Cake, with nine layers shaped like a tower.

The Chongyang cake is also called Five-Color Cake, with nine layers shaped like a tower.

Drinking Chrysanthemum wine is also an indispensable part of Chongyang Festival. People often think that by drinking chrysanthemum wine, all kinds of diseases and disasters can be cured and prevented.

Chrysanthemum wine

Chrysanthemum wine

The Double Ninth Festival is also a time for family get-togethers. It is an occasion to remember one’s ancestors, the sacrifices they made and the hardships they underwent.
 
There is an often-quoted poem written by Wang Wei about the holiday:
As a lonely stranger in a strange land,
At every holiday my homesickness increases.
Far away, I know my brothers have reached the peak;
They are planting flowers, but one is not present.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *