If not, we wanted to share a bit with you about this really interesting Chinese holiday, and give you a poem dedicated to the holiday to impress your Chinese friends with!
Introduction to the Holiday
The Double Ninth Festival - 重阳节 (chóng yáng jié) - is a Chinese festival that falls on the 9th day of the 9th month of the lunar year.
Chinese people believe that the number "nine" is "yang” - 阳 (yáng). This is the same “yang” that is in the word 阴阳 (yīn yáng), or “yin-yang” - which is the representation of balance and a complementary relationship between two opposite sides in nature: the 阴 (yīn), representing “dark” or “female”, and the 阳 (yáng), representing “light” or “male.”
We actually teach a bit about the concept of 阴阳 (yīn yáng) in this lesson from our Intermediate Conversational Course, so feel free to check it out to learn more!
The name of the festival, 重阳节 (chóng yáng jié), literally translates to “double yang festival”, since there are two “yang” or “nines” in the date. The festival is also called 重九 (chóng jiǔ), literally “double nine”, because 九 (jiǔ), or “nine”, is thought to represent 阳 (yáng).
Since 九 (jiǔ), or “nine”, also has the same pronunciation as 久 (jiǔ), “long time”, eventually this date was also dedicated as Seniors’ Day, or 老年节 (lǎo nián jié), in China. It’s a day for respecting the elderly and for the elderly to enjoy themselves.
How the Holiday is Celebrated
On this day, people will often eat 重阳糕 (chóng yáng gāo), Chongyang Cake, which is a baked cake made of rice flour and sugar and decorated with jujube, chestnuts and almonds. The dessert is thought to be lucky, since 糕 (gāo), or “cake” sounds exactly the same as 高 (gāo), “high” or “lofty”. Since this date is also Seniors’ Day, young people will often give their elders Chongyang Cake for them to eat.
People also usually drink chrysanthemum wine - 菊花酒 (jú huā jiǔ), which is said to protect you from evil, and wear 茱萸 (zhū yú) - Cornus officinalis. Both of these are said to hold cleansing qualities.
On the “Double Ninth Festival”, people will often appreciate autumn and chrysanthemums. It is also common to climb a high mountain, again relating back to 高 (gāo) - “high”, which is lucky.
Another custom during this holiday is bathing in wormwood water, which is said to remove the evil spirits from one’s body. Some people also spend this holiday by visiting the graves of their ancestors to pay their respects.
1. Avoid cooking
2. Don't send chrysanthemums
3. Don't say happy holidays
If you’d like to wish someone well, you could instead say:
祝全家平安健康！(zhù quán jiā píng ān jiàn kāng) - “Wishing your whole family peace and good health!”
Learn a Chinese Poem About the Holiday
In honor of this holiday, we’ve provided the below poem about this holiday! Impress your Chinese friends by reciting it to them!
(jiǔ yuè jiǔ rì yì shān dōng xiōng dì)
Double Ninth, Remembering my Shandong Brothers
([táng] wáng wéi)
[Tang] Wang Wei
(dú zài yì xiāng wéi yì kè)
Being Alone alien in a foreign land,
(měi féng jiā jié bèi sī qīn)
Every holiday is accompanied by reminiscences of one's kith and kin.
(yáo zhī xiōng dì dēng gāo chù)
Knowing from afar, the heights one's elder and younger brothers have scaled,
(biàn chā zhū yú shǎo yì rén)
Side Wearing Cornus officinalis, there is one soul less, amiss.
If you enjoyed this post, you’ll love our post on 5 Chinese holidays you may have never heard of!
Let us know in the comments below: Have you ever heard of this holiday? Have you ever celebrated a holiday that’s similar to this one in your own country?
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Wed, 21 Oct 2020 07:00:00 GMT
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