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Double Ninth Festival

2013-10-10 17:52:21


The 9th day of the 9th lunar month is the traditional Chong Yang Festival, or Double Ninth Festival. In an ancient and mysterious book Yi Jing, or The Book of Changes, "6" was thought to be of yin character, meaning feminine or negative, while number "9" was thought to be yang, meaning masculine or positive. So the "9" in both month and day create Double Ninth Festival, or Chong Yang Festival. The Chinese ancestors considered it an auspicious day worth celebration. That's why Chinese people began to celebrate this festival from ancient times.

The celebration of Chong Yang Festival is colorful and romantic, generally speaking, including activities of outing and enjoying the scenes, climbing mountains, watching chrysanthemum, wearing dogwood, eating Chong Yang pastry and drinking chrysanthemum wine, etc.

The 9th day of the 9th lunar month is the traditional Chong Yang Festival, because it has the same pronunciation with the word "Jiu Jiu" (forever) and the number "nine" is the largest number which carries the meaning of "long life". Moreover, autumn also is the golden season for harvest, therefore, this special festival has more than one deep meaning and people have a special affection towards it since ancient times. There are a lot of famous works of Tang poem and Song poem for celebrating Chong Yang Festival and intoning chrysanthemum.

Today, Chong Yang has been given new meanings. In 1989, the Chinese government decided the Double Ninth Festival as Senior's Day, combining the tradition and the modern, which made it become the festival of honoring, loving and helping the seniors. Since then, all government units, organizations and streets communities would organize an autumn trip each year for those who have retired from their posts. At the waterside or on the mountains, the seniors would find themselves merged into nature. Younger generations would also bring the elderly to suburban areas or prepare a nice meal for them on this day.

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