October 9 is September 9 in Chinese lunar calendar, which is also the "Double Ninth Festival”, an event that pays respects to the elderly.
Also called the Chongyang Festival, it is a traditional Chinese holiday first mentioned in records before the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220).
The Chinese government declared the Double Ninth Festival as Seniors' Day in 1989 to advocate respect and love for the elderly. There are many activities that can be done to celebrate this day. The first is climbing to top of mountains. Another is to fly kites. Apart from that, eating the Double Ninth Cake is also a tradition.
Many Chinese festivals are closely related to religious beliefs and many customs are closely linked to folk rituals and activities. The original legends and main customs of the Chongyang Festival can clearly be linked to Taoism. Taoist scripturesTai-Ching - The Grass Methodsaid eat chrysanthemum Poria and cocos over a long period of time and people will live a long and youthful life.
In Taoism, no matter whether it is through taking the pills of immortality or hard work the result is to become as immortal as heaven and earth.
Within the concept of yin and yang, Taoism describes that pure yin is the spirit, and yin and yang mixed together is the human. Pure yang is the immortal and in the Chongyang festival the two yang meet. Taoism believes that this is the best time to ascend to heaven. So in the Taoist system, it is a tradition to ascend to heaven on this day and when the Chongyang Festival became a traditional festival “ascending to heaven” become “ascending a height”.
As written in the Qi record by Wu Junzhi it is said that in the Eastern Han Dynasty there was a man called Heng Jing in Runan county. There was an outbreak of plague in his hometown. His parents died of the illness, so he went to the mountains to learn from the immortal master. The immortal Fei Changfang gave him a Qinglong sword, so Heng Jing went deep into the mountains to study martial arts.
One day the immortal told him that the double ninth day was coming and a plague of evil will endanger the world. He asked him to go down the mountain to deal with it. So he led the local people on this day to climb a nearby mountain. He gave cornel leaves to everyone to carry to ward off the evil. Then he poured Chrysanthemum wine to drink to protect them from the plague. He fought a fierce battle with the plague of demons and managed to destroy them at last.
People began to celebrate Chongyang festival from then on and the act of ascending a height became the custom to avoid disaster and evil.