Chongyang Fes­ti­val

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 7 Life -

Ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese cul­ture, 9 is a “pos­i­tive” num­ber ( yang in Chi­nese), and dou­ble (or chong in Chi­nese) nine means chongyang. The pro­nun­ci­a­tion of 9 in Chi­nese is the same as eter­nal or for­ever. So the fes­ti­val, which falls on Sept 9 on the lu­nar cal­en­dar, is re­garded as es­pe­cially aus­pi­cious.

The fes­ti­val, dat­ing back to the War­ring States Pe­riod (475-221 BC), gained promi­nence dur­ing the Wei and Jin dy­nas­ties (220420) and be­came a na­tional fes­ti­val dur­ing the Tang Dy­nasty. It is re­garded as the most im­por­tant fes­ti­val after Spring Fes­ti­val, MidAu­tumn Day, Tomb Sweep­ing Day and Dragon Boat Fes­ti­val, and is cel­e­brated by Chi­nese peo­ple liv­ing out­side the coun­try, par­tic­u­larly those in East and South­east Asia.

The govern­ment as­cribed an­other name, Se­nior Cit­i­zens’ Fes­ti­val, to the day in 1989 to pro­mote re­spect for se­nior cit­i­zens, and listed it in the first batch of na­tional in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itages in 2006.

The cus­toms as­so­ci­ated with the fes­ti­val in­clude moun­tain climb­ing, ad­mir­ing chrysan­the­mum, wear­ing cor­nels to drive away ghosts, eat­ing chongyang cake (which sounds like high in Chi­nese, mean­ing climb­ing high) and drink­ing chrysan­the­mum wine.

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