Legend of Eating Double Ninth Cake  

There is an ancient legend about the Double Ninth Cake. It is recorded in the ninth volume of The Book of South Qi. Before he seized the throne, Liu Yu had celebrated the Double Ninth Festival in Pengcheng. Just for fun, he rode up to the Xi’ma platform, which was built by Xiang Yu, the ancient hero, to train the horses. After he proclaimed himself emperor, Liu Yu ordered that September 9 on the lunar calendar is the day to ride, shoot and review troops. It is believed by many that the Double Ninth Cake so popular later on was the staple food for the army at that time.

Another legend is popular in the Shanxi area. There was a great scholar named Kang Hai during the Ming Dynasty, whose hometown was Wugong in Shan’xi province. After taking the highest imperial examination in August, he fell ill and had to stay in Chang’an. When the result of the examination came out, he received the highest score in all of China, and the reporter went to his hometown to tell him this good news. But Kang at that time was still in Chang’an. The reporter wouldn’t leave without a reward. Then on day, on the Double Ninth Festival, Kang finally came back. He gave the reporter some money for thanks, and also made some cakes for the reporter and his neighbors to celebrate his success. Since then, the families whose children are going to participate in the examination have prepared some steamed cakes to give out, for good luck. Thus, the custom of eating Double Ninth Cake on Double Ninth Festival was formed.

Translated by Zhang Min

Editor: Shi Liwei


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