Thursday, 2 October 2014

Chongyang Jie 重陽節 (Double Ninth Festival)

The Double Ninth Festival

Also named Chong Yang Festival, which falls on the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, hence the name of Double Ninth Festival.

According to Yi Jing, or the Book of Change, there are two opposing principles in nature called yin and yang, which are regarded as the basis of the Chinese world view. Yin refers to feminine and negative, darkness, while Yang refers to masculine, positive and bright. All the phenomena can be explained by Yin and Yang theory, even numbers is divided into two types, even numbers to be Yin but odd numbers to be Yang. The ninth day of the ninth month is a day when the two "Nine" meet, which is the highest single Yang number. That day also known as Double Yang (Chongyang in Chinese), has been celebrated from ancient times. "Nine" in Chinese is also pronounced the same "Forever", making the day truly auspicious one.

All the celebrations of Double Ninth Festival are held in autumn, and people think is a great day to enjoy the pleasant weather before cool winter coming. It is usually perfect for outdoor activities. Climbing the hills to get some exercise as well as enjoy the autumn scenery are the double purposes for people ascending the height. Ancient literary figures have left many poems depicting the activity. Even today, people still swarm to famous or little known mountains on this day.

Chongyang Festival is also a time when chrysanthemum blooms, so enjoying the flourishing chrysanthemum also becomes a key activity on this festival. From Song Dynasty, chrysanthemum show was held on Double Ninth Festival annually, displaying kinds of chrysanthemum in different shapes for watching and enjoying as ancient Chinese people though it could drive away evil spirits and prevent one from getting a chill in late autumn.

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.

Another traditional activity is carrying a piece of dogwood, which is a plant with strong fragrance, often used in Chinese medicine. Ancient Chinese people believed it could drive away bad spirits and prevent from getting chill in late autumn, but this custom was slowly lost and only people in rural areas do that.

Double Nine also implies longevity in Chinese culture, so in 1989, Chinese government declared Chongyang as a day for senior citizens, showing the respect for elders and hope them live longer. Most elderly people on that day would highly enjoy themselves while younger generations would send the elders gifts with blessing.


Double Ninth Festival (重九節)(重阳节) also called Chung Yeung Festival (重陽節)(重阳节)

The Double Ninth Festival (Chung Yeung Festival in Hong Kong, Japanese: Chōyō (重陽), Vietnamese: Tết Trùng Cửu), observed on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese calendar, is a traditional Chinese holiday, mentioned in writing since before the East Han period (before AD 25).

According to the I Ching, nine is a yang number; the ninth day of the ninth lunar month (or double nine) has too much yang (a traditional Chinese spiritual concept) and is thus a potentially dangerous date. Hence, the day is also called "Double Yang Festival" (重陽節). To protect against danger, it is customary to climb a high mountain, drink chrysanthemum wine, and wear the zhuyu (茱萸) plant, Cornus officinalis. (Both chrysanthemum and zhuyu are considered to have cleansing qualities and are used on other occasions to air out houses and cure illnesses.)

On this holiday some Chinese also visit the graves of their ancestors to pay their respects. In Hong Kong, whole extended families head to ancestral graves to clean them and repaint inscriptions, and to lay out food offerings such as roast suckling pig and fruit, which are then eaten (after the spirits have consumed the spiritual element of the food). Chongyang Cake is also popular. Incense sticks are burned. Cemeteries get crowded, and each year grass fires are inadvertently started by the burning incense sticks.

Origin - Once there was a man named Huan Jing, who believed that a monster would bring pestilence. He told his countrymen to hide on a hill while he went to defeat the monster. Later, people celebrated Huan Jing's defeat of the monster on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month.

In 1966, the Republic of China (Taiwan) rededicated the holiday as "Senior Citizens' Day", underscoring one custom as it is observed in China, where the festival is also an opportunity to care for and appreciate the elderly.

Double Ninth may have originated as a day to drive away danger, but like the Chinese New Year, over time it became a day of celebration. In contemporary times it is an occasion for hiking and chrysanthemum appreciation. Stores sell rice cakes (糕 "gāo", a homophone for height 高) with mini colorful flags to represent zhuyu. Most people drink chrysanthemum tea, while a few traditionalists drink homemade chrysanthemum wine. Children learn poems about chrysanthemums, and many localities host chrysanthemum exhibits. Mountain climbing races are also popular; winners get to wear a wreath made of zhuyu.


Double Ninth Festival
Chrysanthemum

The Double Ninth Festival, also named Chong Yang Festival, falls on the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, hence it gets name of Double Ninth Festival.

Origin - The festival is based on the theory of Yin and Yang, the two opposing principles in nature. Yin is feminine, negative principle, while Yang is masculine and positive. In ancient times people believed that all natural phenomena could be explained by this theory. Numbers were also related to this theory. Even numbers belonged to Yin and odd numbers toYang. The ninth day of the ninth lunar month is a day when the two Yang numbers meet. So it is called Chong Yang. Chongmeans double in Chinese. Chong Yang has been an important festival since ancient times.

Legend - It is hard to say when these customs were created. But there are many stories which are closely related. As recorded in a historical book of the sixth century, in ancient times, there lived a man named Huan Jing. He was learning the magic arts from Fei Changfang, who had become an immortal after many years of practicing Taoism. One day, the two were climbing a mountain. Fei Changfang suddenly stopped and looked very upset. He told Huan Jing, On the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, disaster will come to your hometown. You must go home immediately. Remember to make a red bag for each one of your family members and put a spray of dogwood on every one. Then you must all tie your bags to your arms, leave home quickly and climb to the top of a mountain. Most importantly, you must all drink some chrysanthemum wine. Only by doing so can your family members avoid this disaster.

On hearing this, Huan Jing rushed home and asked his family to do exactly as his teacher said. The whole family climbed a nearby mountain and did not return until the evening. When they got back home, they found all their animals dead, including chickens, sheep, dogs and even the ox. Later Huan Jing told Fei Changfang about this. Fei said the poultry and livestock died in place of Huan Jing's family, who escaped disaster by following his instructions.

Since then, climbing a mountain, carrying a spray of dogwood and drinking chrysanthemum wine became the traditional activities of the Double Ninth Festival, to avoid evil spirits and misfortunes.

Special Food: Chrysanthemum cakes

On Double Ninth Festival, people would like to drink chrysanthemum wine and have chrysanthemum cakes.

The chrysanthemum is a plant often used as a Chinese herbal medicine. People in ancient times believed that, in addition to detoxifcation, chrysanthemum could drive away evil spirits and prevent one from getting a chill in late autumn. So, making and drinking chrysanthemum could be traced back many centuries, and it became the traditional food on Double Ninth Festival, to avoid evil spirits and misfortunes. Besides, the Chinese word for wine is Jiu, a homonym of the Chinese word for long, symbolizing longevity.

Another special food for this festival is chrysanthemum cakes. The Chinese word for cake isGao, a homonym of the Chinese word for high, symbolizing progress and promotion at work and in daily life and improvement in life year by year. In addition, mountains are high, so eating cakes can take the place of going for a climb -- by a stretch of the imagination.

Dogwood

The dogwood is a plant with a strong fragrance, often used as a Chinese herbal medicine. People in ancient times believed it could drive away evil spirits and prevent one from getting a chill in late autumn. But the custom of carrying a spray of dogwood on the Double Ninth Festival is slowly dying out and many people, especially young people in the cities, do not even know what dogwood looks like.

Since nine is the highest odd digit, people take two of them together to signify longevity. Therefore, the ninth day of the ninth month has become a special day for people to pay their respects to the elderly and a day for the elderly to enjoy themselves. It has also been declared China's Day for the Elderly.

A day for outing - The festival is held in the golden season of autumn, at harvest-time. The bright clear weather and the joy of bringing in the harvest make for a festive happy atmosphere. The Double Ninth Festival is usually perfect for outdoor activities. Many people go hiking and climbing in the countryside, enjoying Mother Nature's final burst of color before she puts on her dull winter cloak. Some will carry a spray of dogwood.

Therefore, it is now considered as the last outing of the year before the onset of winter, for people to go climbing to get some exercise as well as enjoy the autumn scenery.


Chong Yang Festival

The 9th day of September in the lunar calendar is the Chinese Chong Yang Festival and a happy occasion in autumn. According to the traditional theory of Yin and Yang, both the 9th month and the 9th day of the month belong to Yang, which means positive and masculine, and Chong means double, thus it is called Chong Yang. People often gather for a party, appreciate chrysanthemums, pin the leaves of Cornus on clothes. And the custom of climbing mountains and eating a special cake also features the day.

This custom of climbing mountains can be dated back as early as West Han Dynasty. Some old travel notes have it that, people climbed to mountain peaks not only for beautiful scenes and poetic inspiration, but also the avoidance of evil spirits and disasters.

This practice came from an ancient folktale. It is said long ago there appeared a devil of plague in the Ruhe River. People lay down and died wherever it came up. A boy named Heng Jing swore to help his neighbors and fellow people to get rid of it. He visited many famous mountains to seek a powerful master. Finally an old Taoist took him in and taught him how to defeat the devil.


Double Ninth Festival
The Double Ninth Festival is also a time when chrysanthemum blooms

The 9th day of the 9th lunar month is the traditional Chongyang Festival, or Double Ninth Festival. It usually falls in October in the Gregorian calendar. In an ancient and mysterious book Yi Jing, or The Book of Changes, number "6" was thought to be of Yincharacter, meaning feminine or negative, while number "9" was thought to be Yang, meaning masculine or positive. So the number nine in both month and day create the Double Ninth Festival, or Chongyang Festival. Chong in Chinese means "double." Also, as double ninth was pronounced the same as the word to signify "forever", both are "Jiu Jiu," the Chinese ancestors considered it an auspicious day worth celebration. That's why ancient Chinese began to celebrate this festival long time ago.

The custom of ascending a height to avoid epidemics was passed down from long time ago. Therefore, the Double Ninth Festival is also called "Height Ascending Festival". The height people will reach is usually a mountain or a tower. Ancient literary figures have left many poems depicting the activity. Even today, people still swarm to famous or little known mountains on this day.

On this day, people will eat Double Ninth Gao (or Cake). In Chinese, gao(cake) has the same pronunciation with gao (height). People do so just to hope progress in everything they are engaged in. There is no fixed ways for the Double Ninth Cake, but super cakes will have as many as nine layers, looking like a tower.


Chongyang Festival (Double Ninth Festival)
Climbing Mountain, a custom of Chongyang Festival

Chongyang Festival of 2014 falls on October 2. There is no holiday for this traditional festival. Its schedule in recent years is showed in the table on the right.

IntroductionHeld on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month, Chongyang Festival is also called Double Ninth Festival. In Chinese, nine is regarded as the number of Yang (which means masculine as opposed to Yin which is feminine). The ninth day of the ninth month is the day that has two Yang numbers, and 'chong' in Chinese means double which is how the name Chongyang was created. It is a day for people to eat Chongyang cake, drink chrysanthemum wine, climb mountains, and pay homage to chrysanthemums.

During the festival, Chongyang cake and chrysanthemum wine is the traditional cuisine. Climbing mountains and admiring beautiful chrysanthemums are interesting events that add to the festival creating a joyous atmosphere.

Chongyang Cake is a kind of steamed cake having two layers with nuts and jujube sandwiched between them. Since cake in Chinese is pronounced 'gao' meaning high, people consider climbing a high mountain to be the same as eating cake. Also personal progress is thought to be made in the following days after eating the cake, for 'high' means that one makes improvements moving to a higher level.

Drinking Chrysanthemum wine is an indispensable part of the festival. Chrysanthemums are regarded as a kind of flower having the function of an antitoxin and can drive the evil away. People often think that by drinking chrysanthemum wine, all kinds of diseases and disasters can be cured and prevented.


Chongyang cake Chinese steamed cake 重阳花糕

Eating flower cake ( a kind of Chinese rice flour cake) is a very popular thing to do during Chongyang festival. There are, however, important differences between North and South China, and also among different provinces in China

This kind of Chinese cake is almost completely different to Western cakes, from the ingredients to the method of cooking. It is supposed to be lighter, since there is no cream or butter or even oil, and no vast amounts of sugar either. And another major difference is that this Chinese flower rice cake is steamed, not baked in the oven, so it can be translated as ‘Chinese steamed cake’.

It is fairly easy to make — just rice flour paste with red bean filling. There are some places in China where this cake would be made without any fillings at all. Jujube dates are used for decoration and hence this cake is also called ‘jujube date flower cake’.

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Chongyang Festival

Chongyang Cake is a kind of traditional cake eaten on the Chongyang Festival. It is mainly made up of rice flour, pulse flour and decorated with jujube, chestnut and almond with baked and steamed sugar.

Chongyang Cake (重阳糕) is a kind of traditional cake eaten on the Chongyang Festival. It is mainly made up of rice flour, pulse flour and decorated with jujube, chestnut and almond with baked and steamed sugar. Cakes (糕) sounds like height (高), so people regard it as luck 

Before Liu Yu became an Emperor, He had Chongyang Festival in Pengcheng. He was happy that day, so he climbed on the Xiang Yu's play station. When he became the Emperor, he made a law that people could ride, shoot and review the troops on September 9 every year. The Chongyang cakes were given out to the soldiers.

Kang Hai (the Zhuangyuan of Ming Dynasty) was from Shanxi and he attended the exam in August. However, he was ill in Changan. He hadn't reached home when someone told the announcement of the results. No one gave the money to the man who brought the announcement, so he was unwilling to leave. When Kang Hai was fine, it had been Chongyang Festival. Then Kang Hai gave the money and some extra cakes to the man. Because the cakes are used to celebrate his success, later on, the family who had children going to school would give out cakes to neighborhood. Then the custom that people eat Chongyang cakes has spread


Climbing the hill at Double Nine Festival

The 9th day of the 9th lunar month is the traditional Chongyang Festival, or Double Ninth Festival in China. It usually falls in October in the Gregorian calendar. In an ancient and mysterious book Yi Jing, or The Book of Changes, number "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 number nine in both month and day create the Double Ninth Festival, or Chongyang Festival. Chong in Chinese means "double." Also, as double ninth was pronounced the same as the word to signify "forever", both are "Jiu Jiu," the Chinese ancestors considered it an auspicious day worth celebration. That's why ancient Chinese began to celebrate this festival long time ago.

The custom of ascending a height to avoid epidemics was passed down from long time ago. Therefore, the Double Ninth Festival is also called "Height Ascending Festival". The height people will reach is usually a mountain or a tower. Ancient literary figures have left many poems depicting the activity. Even today, people still swarm to famous or little known mountains on this day.

On this day, people will eat Double Ninth Gao (or Cake). In Chinese, gao (cake) has the same pronunciation with gao (height). People do so just to hope progress in everything they are engaged in. There is no fixed ways for the Double Ninth Cake, but super cakes will have as many as nine layers, looking like a tower.

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Chongyang Festival


Also called the Double Ninth Festival according to Chinese lunar calendar, is a day for people to climb mountains and admire

Chongyang Festival, also called the Double Ninth Festival according to Chinese lunar calendar, is a day for people to climb mountains and admire chrysanthemums in traditional Chinese culture. It is also the Senior's Day, a day to respect the elderly and to let them enjoy themselves. Happy festival:)

It is said that by ascending to a high mountain, diseases could be prevented. Many widely-known poems were created by poets in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) describing the scene and feeling of mountain climbing. Now, family relatives or good friends gather to climb mountains to enjoy the beautiful scenery and share happiness of the holiday with each other.

As chrysanthemums blossom during the festival, it is a pleasure to admire the various chrysanthemums in parks. Grand chrysanthemum exhibitions are held in big parks that attract numerous visitors.

The custom as wear dogwood - a kind of plant that can dispel the disaster in people's values – was popular in the old days. Women and children like to wear a fragrant pouch with dogwood sewed in. However, this custom is currently not very popular at all.

New Meaning of Chongyang FestivalAs nine is pronounced 'jiu' meaning long in Chinese, so people endow the word jiu with the meaning of longevity with a person's life. In the year of 1989, Chongyang Festival was designated as Senior's Day - a day to respect the elderly and to let them enjoy themselves. Many companies organize groups where retired people can go out to climb mountains or on other outings. Members of a family also accompany their elders to have a relaxing day in a natural setting while wishing health and happiness upon them.


Chinese Double Ninth Festival (重阳节)

Chinese Double Ninth Festival. Chinese Double Ninth - Hiking. The ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese lunar calendar is the Chinese Double

The ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese lunar calendar is the Chinese Double Ninth Festival (重阳节). According to the I Ching, nine is a yang number; the ninth day of the ninth lunar month (or double nine) has too much yang (a traditional Chinese spiritual concept) and is thus a potentially dangerous date. Hence, the day is also called "Double Yang Festival". To protect against danger, it is customary to climb a high mountain, drink chrysanthemum wine, and wear cornus officinalis. Both chrysanthemum and cornus officinalis are considered to have cleansing qualities.

Once there was a man named Huan Jing, who believed that a monster would bring pestilence. He told his countrymen to hide on a hill while he went to defeat the monster. Later, people celebrated Huan Jing's defeat of the monster on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month.
Activities: Hiking (登高) - It is customary, on Double Ninth day, to go hiking in the mountains, enjoying the autumn sky and the clarity of the heights. The climbing of mountains also represents "climbing to a higher position", which is symbolic of an increase in health, happiness and prosperity in ones life. Along with being associated with yang energy, nine is also the number associated with longevity. So if the potential "dangers" of the day can be skillfully negotiated, it can be the source of a fountain of auspicious energy.

Chrysanthemum Flower Viewing (赏菊) - Appreciating the beautiful chrysanthemum flowers, and drinking chrysanthemum wine, also are traditional aspects of the Double Ninth Festival. The ninth lunar month as a whole is known as the "month of chrysanthemum". Chrysanthemum wine is believed to have many physical and spiritual benefits. Each year, the flowers and grains for the wine are mixed, and the brewing process begun, only to be consumed on the following year’s Double Ninth Day.


The ninth day of the ninth lunar month

The "Chong Yang Festival" is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, and it is as such known as the Double Ninth Festival.

Origins: 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.

Climbing mountains: 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.

Family get-togethers: 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.


Chongyang Festival

The Chongyang Festival falls on the ninth day of the nonth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, so it is also known as the Double Ninth Festival.

The festival is based on the theory of Yin and Yang, the two opposing principles in nature. Yin is feminine, negative principle, while Yang is masculine and positive. The ancients believed that all natural phenomena could be esplained by this theory. Numbers are related to this theory. Even numbers belong to Yin and odd numbers to Yang. The ninth day of the ninth lunar month is a day when the two Yang numbers meet. So it is called Chongyang. Chong means double in Chinese.Chongyang has been an important festival since ancient times.

The festival is held in the golden season of autumn, at harvest -time. The bright clear weather and the joy of bringing in the harvest make for a festive happy atmosphere.The Double Ninth Festival is usually perfect for outdoor activities. Many people go hiking and climbing in the country, enjoying Mother Nature's final burst of color before she puts on her dull winter cloak. Some will carry a spray of dogwood.


Double Ninth Festival

According to Chinese custom, "nine" is a number belonging to the positive principle "yang," thus the day is also known as "Chong Yang Festival".

In ancient times, there lived a man named Huan Jing. He was learning the magic arts from Fei Changfang, who had become an immortal after many years of practicing Taoism.

One day, Fei Changfang told Huan Jing, on the 9th day of the 9th month, disaster will come to his hometown. To avoid the disaster, he has to make a red bag and put a spray of dogwood in it. Then all family members must tie the bags to their arms, leave home quickly and climb to the top of a mountain. Also they must drink some chrysanthemum wine.

Following his teacher's direction, Huan Jing and his family escaped disaster successfully.

People would eat cakes. The Chinese word for cake is "Gao", a homonym of the Chinese word for high. Mountains are high, so eating cake can, by a stretch of the imagination, take the place of going for a climb.

Activities: Climbing a mountain, carrying a spray of dogwood, drinking some chrysanthemum wine, and flying kites.


Celebrating Chong Yang Festival

This festival is hardly known and celebrated in Singapore. It is a traditional festival celebrated by our ancestors and can be traced back to as early as Han Dynasty. Chong Yang festival falls on the 9th day of the 9th month in the Chinese calendar. As the digit nine is considered an auspicious number and a “Yang” (the ‘Yang’ refers to the Chinese cosmological model Yin and Yang ) figure, it is hence termed as Chong Yang. The character Chong means ‘repeated’, as we can see two digits of 9 occurring on this date.

This is the day where people would go hiking and ascend up a mountain. It is believed that the physical activity is healthy exercise beneficial for the body. It is also a day to appreciate chrysanthemum flowers and drink chrysanthemum wine. Kite flying is also a popular activity on that day. Also there is the practices of Cha Zhu Yu (插茱萸). Each family member is to break off a branch from the Zhu Yu tree and stick the branch into the ground.

The rational of ascending the mountain is that there is a Chinese saying of rising up further with each step (步步高升). It carries an auspicious meaning of climbing upwards towards success in life and attain longevity ‘ Gao Shou 高寿)’.

Chong Yang festival is also a day to Jing Lao 敬老, a day to show care and concern for our seniors. This includes our parents and grandparents.


Double Ninth Festival

Celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, the Double Ninth, or Chongyang Festival, celebrates the auspicious nature of the double digits as the word is pronounced in the same way as the word “long-lasting”. The festival also spawned the custom of climbing or moving to higher ground to avoid epidemics and sickness. This tradition has been carried throughout time and people still flock to mountains and hills on this day for leisurely outings.

A traditional food served on this day is the Double Ninth Cake. The word, gao, for cake, is pronounced in the same way as gao, for tall, or height. So Double Ninth cakes will usually have nine layers for good luck. Some are made of glutinous rice flour and decorated with nuts and seeds in a pattern that resembles flowers.

The ninth lunar month is also known as the chrysanthemum month. Chrysanthemum flowers are in full bloom during this month and the Chinese believe that the flower has great medicinal value as well as being a beautiful flower. Chrysanthemum wine and tea are also enjoyed on this day.


Double Ninth Festival

Origin of Double Ninth FestivalThe 9th day of the 9th lunar month is the traditional Chongyang Festival, or Double Ninth Festival. It usually falls in October in the Gregorian calendar. In an ancient and mysterious book Yi Jing, or The Book of Changes, number "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 number nine in both month and day create the Double Ninth Festival, or Chongyang Festival.Chong in Chinese means "double." Also, as double ninth was pronounced the same as the word to signify "forever", both are "Jiu Jiu," the Chinese ancestors considered it an auspicious day worth celebration. That's why ancient Chinese began to celebrate this festival long time ago.

Custom of Double Ninth FestivalThe custom of ascending a height to avoid epidemics was passed down from long time ago. Therefore, the Double Ninth Festival is also called "Height Ascending Festival". The height people will reach is usually a mountain or a tower. Ancient literary figures have left many poems depicting the activity. Even today, people still swarm to famous or little known mountains on this day.
On this day, people will eat Double Ninth Gao (or Cake). In Chinese, gao(cake) has the same pronunciation with gao (height). People do so just to hope progress in everything they are engaged in. There is no fixed ways for the Double Ninth Cake, but super cakes will have as many as nine layers, looking like a tower.The Double Ninth Festival is also a time when chrysanthemum blooms. China boasts diversified species of chrysanthemum and people have loved them since ancient times. So enjoying the flourishing chrysanthemum also becomes a key activity on this festival. Also, people will drink chrysanthemum wine. Women used to stick such a flower into their hair or hang its branches on windows or doors to avoid evilness.

In 1989, the Chinese government decided the Double Ninth Festival as Seniors' Day. Since then, all government units, organizations and streets communities will organize an autumn trip each year for those who have retired from their posts. At the waterside or on the mountains, the seniors will find themselves merged into nature. Younger generations will bring elder ones to suburban areas or send gifts to them on this day.


The Double Ninth Festival

On the Double Ninth Festival, people hold many activities in celebration, such as enjoying the chrysanthemum, inserting Zhuyu, eating Chongyang cakes, and drinking chrysanthemum wine, among others.
Climbing Mountain

In ancient China, as people ascended to high places on the Double Ninth Festival, the Chongyang Festival is also known as the Height Ascending Festival. This custom was supposedly started during the East Han Dynasty when people usually climbed mountains or towers.
Eating Chongyang Cakes

According to historical records, Chongyang cake was also called the Flower Cake, the Chrysanthemum Cake, and the Five-Color Cake. The Chongyang cake is a nine-layer cake shaped like a tower. On its top should be two sheep made from flour. Some people place a small red flag on the top of cake and light candles. Enjoy Chrysanthemum and Drink Chrysanthemum Wine

The Double Ninth Festival is a golden time of the year. The first person who purportedly enjoyed chrysanthemum and drank chrysanthemum wine on the Chongyang Festival was the poet Tao Yuanming, who lived during the Jin Dynasty. Tao Yuanming, famous for his poems, enjoyed chrysanthemum. Many people followed his suit, drinking chrysanthemum wine and enjoying chrysanthemum, which became a custom. During the Song Dynasty, enjoying chrysanthemum became popular and was an important activity on this festival day. After the Qing Dynasty, people went crazy for chrysanthemum, not only during the Chongyang Festival, but also at other times by going outside and enjoying the plant.