Are you familiar with the Double Ninth Festival? 9th October is a special day for Chinese communities all over the world. They deem the ninth day of the ninth month in the lunar calendar a traditional Chinese holiday. Nine is considered the number of Yang in traditional spiritual concept, which means masculine (Yin means feminine).
The Double Ninth is also called the Chongyang Festival as chong means double. With two Yang numbers, it is believed that this date is unsafe. Hence, the practices to shield against danger have been created. These practices include climbing a high mountain, wearing zhuyu plant (dogwood) and drinking chrysanthemum wine. Zhuyu and chrysanthemum are believed to have cleansing properties. The day that seems to have a negative vibe became a day of celebration overtime just like Chinese New Year.
Double Ninth Background
Like other Chinese celebrations, the Double Ninth has a unique story. It is believed that in the Eastern Han Dynasty, a devil dwelled the Nu River that caused sickness to people. A man named Hengjing, whose parents were killed by the devil, sought help to be able to defeat the fiend. He asked an immortal to teach him how to be an expert swordsman. The immortal teacher informed him that the devil would show up on the ninth day of the lunar month. He got some dogwood plants and chrysanthemum wine, and instructed his people to climb the nearest mountain. When the devil emerged from the river, the scent from the dogwood and chrysanthemum wine distracted him. Hengling used this diversion to kill the devil with the use of his sword.
Jiu is the Chinese word for nine, which also means long. This, therefore, is used to denote longevity in one’s life. In 1989, the Double Ninth was designated as a Senior’s Day, a day showing appreciation and care for the elderly. Family members prepare special and relaxing activities for them. Various companies organize plenty of outings for the elderly as well.
Double Ninth Customs
Aside from the aforementioned customs, people also consume Chongyang cake, a two-layer steamed cake with nuts and jujube. People eat cakes with colourful flags to represent zhuyu. Since cake in Chinese is called gao, which means high, people consider climbing to be the equal as cake. It is expected to accomplish something in the succeeding days because “high” is regarded as improving to a higher level.
Chrysanthemums, which are at full bloom at this time, play a major role in the festival. Aside from drinking tea and wine from this plant, women stick flowers to their hair. They also hang branches on doors and windows to ward off evil. Drinking Chrysanthemum tea or wine is believed to cure diseases and prevent disasters. Amazing exhibitions that highlight this plant are also held to attract visitors.
We at Essay Writer wish our Chinese friends meaningful Double Ninth Festival celebrations. Those without Chinese lineage can also learn a lot from this festival and may apply the customs to their own lives. This includes honoring the elders and becoming a better version of themselves.