Think­ing of My Broth­ers on the Dou­ble Ninth Fes­ti­val Wang Wei (trans­lated by Feng Huazhan)

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Asian Geographic - - Front Page - By

All alone in a strange land, How I long for my folks on this fes­tive day! I imag­ine my broth­ers climb up a hill, dog­wood on heads, And all ex­cept me mer­rily go their way. WANG WEI (699–759) was a fa­mous Chi­nese poet from the Tang Dy­nasty. Think­ing of My Broth­ers on the Dou­ble Ninth Fes­ti­val is one of his best-known works, writ­ten when he was just 17 years old. The poem speaks of a lonely trav­eller’s home­sick­ness, am­pli­fied ten­fold on the Dou­ble Ninth Fes­ti­val, when he en­vi­sions his fam­ily in Shanxi en­gag­ing in the tra­di­tional as­cent up Mount Hua with­out him. On this hol­i­day, ob­served on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chi­nese cal­en­dar, peo­ple climb to high places while wear­ing a sprig of dog­wood (Cor­nus of­fic­i­nalis) in their hair to ward off evil.

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