Double Ninth Festival

The Double Ninth Festival, also called ChongYang Festival falls on the 9th day of the 9th Chinese lunar month. According to Chinese belief, the number nine is regarded as the number of Yang (which represents masculine, as opposed to Yin, which represents feminine). Chong in Chinese means double. As such the 9th day of the 9th month means Double Ninth or Double ‘masculine’, thus ChongYang. People who celebrate the ChongYang Festival will eat the ChongYang cake, drink chrysanthemum wine, climb mountains and pay homage to chrysanthemum on this day. During the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), a devil that inhabited the Nu River killed the parents of a young man named Hengjing. To rid the village of the devil, Hengjing sought the help of an immortal to teach him swordsmanship. On the 8th day of the 9th lunar month, Hengjing returned to the village with a bag of dogwood and some chrysanthemum wine. On the afternoon of the 9th day of the 9th lunar month, when the devil came out of the Nu River, Hengjing and the villagers were waiting near a mountain, each holding a piece of dogwood leaf and a cup of chrysanthemum wine. The devil stopped because of the fragrance emitted from the dogwood and the chrysanthemum wine. At that moment, Hengjing used the sword to fight the devil and he won. The number nine is pronounced ‘jiu’ which means long in Chinese. It is interpreted as longevity of life. Since 1989, ChongYang Festival has been referred to as Seniors’ Day, which is a day we show respect to the elderly and let them enjoy themselves.