Today, Chinese people celebrate the Double Ninth Festival 2010
The “Chong Yang Festival” is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month (October, 16, 2010), and it is as such known as the Double Ninth Festival.
How Chinese People Celebrate this Festival?
On the Double Ninth Festival, people customarily climb mountains, appreciate chrysanthemum flowers, drink chrysanthemum wine, and eat double-ninth cakes. The Double Ninth Festival is also the “Old Men Festival”. Old people are especially meant to improve their health by taking part in the activities on the day of the festival.
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. Often, family outings are organised during which people search to renew their appreciation of nature and to reaffirm their love and concern for family members and close friends.
Traditional Food on Chongyang Festival is chrysanthemum wines and Double Ninth Gao (or Cake). Gao (or cake) has the same pronunciation with gao in Chinese (means high), made of rice and chrysanthemum, symbolizing the progress and promotion for the next year. The wine drinking on this day also made of chrysanthemum, to ward off evil spirits and misfortunes.
Why Chinese People Celebrate this Festival?
The festival began as early as the Warring States Period (475 – 221 BC). According to the yin/yang dichotomy that forms a basis to the Chinese world view, yin represents the elements of darkness and yang represents life and brightness. 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”. (Chong means “repeat” in Chinese.)
The ninth month also heralds the approach of winter. It is a time when the living need warm clothing, and filial Chinese sons and daughters extended this to make the festival a time for providing winter clothes for their ancestors. The Double Ninth Festival, therefore, also became an occasion to visit the graves of dead family members. Clothes made of paper would then be burnt as offerings.