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Chongyang Folk Festival (The Double Ninth Festival)

Chinese Horoscope Culture

In China, September 9 in lunar calendar is the day of The Double Ninth Festival or Chongyang Festival(重阳节). Chongyang Festival is one of Chinese oldest traditional festivals with thousands of years’ history. Chongyang Festival. Chongyang Festival in folk community is also called widely The Festival of Seniority or Laoren Festival(老人节) on the grounds that Six is considered as Negative Digit or Yin Digit(阴数)and Nine is Positive Digit or Yang Digit(阳数). September 9 is comprised of two nines. It is the supremely positive time in a year. On the day, Sun (traditionally symbolizes Positiveness) and Moon (traditionally represents Negativeness) are both featured of positiveness. So in this way, Chongyang Festival is called Chongjiue Day or Double-Nine Day. Chongyang Festival emerged as early as Warring-State Period. Up to Tang Dynasty, Chongyang Festival was officially fixed as one of the folk festivals. Since then, Chongyang as a folk grand festival lasts from generation to generation, and today it is still highlighted too much.

In Chinese history, Chongyang Festival firstly appeared in official historical record was in Three-Kingdom Period. At Chonyang Festival, people have the custom of ascending the highland. September in lunar calendar is in autumn. It is the perfect time for outdoor sightseeing; also open-air traveling is in order to keep health forever. The relevant food eaten on Chongyang Festival is Cake or Gao(糕), which is pronounced the same as Gao(高, going up). As the festival food, eating cake originally was for celebrating harvest and tasting the fresh grains, thereafter in folk eating cake and ascending highland on Chongyang Festival for wishing auspiciousness.

On the day of Chongyang Festival, traditionally is also highlighted with the custom of appreciating chrysanthemum, in this way, in ancient days, Chongyang Festival is also called Chrysanthemum Festival. September in lunar calendar is called the month of chrysanthemum. On the day of Chongyang Festival, the large-scale themed chrysanthemum gathering would be held, and all people living in town would go outside to appreciate the chrysanthemum. Since Three-Kingdom Period, Chongyang Festival has been an irreplaceable occasion for sharing the poem creation and drinking together among the educated people. In Han Nationality, chrysanthemum is also esteemed to be the symbol of longevity. In some places, there is also a special custom of inserting Zhu Ru(茱萸,a type of plant said to be a herb that can be quite helpful for health). In different dynasties, there are always the themed prose and poems with Chongyang Festival. In Chinese folk custom,Double-Ninth Festival also is the same as Jiu Jiu(久久, eternality) in pronunciation. It is full of the kind wishful thinking to hope the senior people around the world could be healthy and longevous.

As the rare and valuable spiritual heritage from ancestors, on May 20, 2006, Chongyang Festival was fixed as one of Chinese intangible cultural heritage sites


Writer: David from Seeraa International
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