Events  Chung Yeung Festival
02/10/201400:00 TV5MONDE

"The Chung Yeung Festival" falls on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month and that is why it is also called as "Double Ninth Festival". There are two versions for the origin of this Chinese traditional festival which are both based on 'yin and yang' (yīn 陰 or 阴 "shady side" and yáng 陽 or 阳 "sunny side"), a traditional Chinese spiritual concept.

The first one is that in Chinese culture number nine is a yang number; the ninth day of the ninth lunar month has too much yang and thus it is a potentially dangerous date. To protect against danger, it is customary to climb a high mountain, drink chrysanthemum wine, and wear the zhuyu plant which both chrysanthemum and zhuyu are considered to have cleansing qualities and are used on other occasions to air out houses and cure illnesses.

The another version is according to the belief that the number “6” was thought to be of Yin character, meaning feminine or negative, while “9” was thought to be Yang, meaning masculine or positive. Therefore, the “9” in both month and day create Double Ninth Festival, which was considered as an auspicious day worth celebration. That's why Chinese people began to celebrate this festival from ancient times.

No matter which version of the origins is the real one, the tradition of observing this holiday has been passed down up to the modern age. Especially the climbing a high mountain is one of the most popular activities on this day as it is believed this will bring good luck. Also visiting ancestral graves to clean them and to lay out food offerings is one of the important festivities. However in different regions, people engage in different activities to celebrate Double Ninth Festival, from enjoying chrysanthemum flowers, wearing dogwood, eating Chung Yeung pastry and drinking chrysanthemum wine and many more.

In addition, “Double Ninth” has the same pronunciation with the word "Jiu Jiu" (which means forever in Chinese) and the number “9” is the largest number which carries the meaning of longevity in Chinese culture. Moreover, autumn also is the golden season for harvest; therefore, this special festival has more than one deep meaning. Today, Chung Yeung has been given new meanings as Chinese government declared the holiday as Senior's Day in 1989, which made it become the festival of honoring and respecting the seniors. Members of a family also accompany their elders to have a relaxing day in a natural setting while wishing health and happiness upon them.


<Source: Wikipedia, travelchinaguide, discoverhongkong>
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