Double Ninth Festival - 9th Day of 9th Lunar Month

Q

When is the Chinese Double Ninth Festival? How is it celebrated? What are the traditions?

✍: Guest

A

Chinese Double Ninth - Hiking The ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese lunar calendar is the Chinese Double Ninth Festival (重阳节). According to the I Ching, nine is a yang number; the ninth day of the ninth lunar month (or double nine) has too much yang (a traditional Chinese spiritual concept) and is thus a potentially dangerous date. Hence, the day is also called "Double Yang Festival". To protect against danger, it is customary to climb a high mountain, drink chrysanthemum wine, and wear cornus officinalis. Both chrysanthemum and cornus officinalis are considered to have cleansing qualities.

The Chinese Double Ninth Festival falls on the following dates in the Gregorian calendar:

2021October 14Thursday重阳 - Double Ninth Festival
2022October 4Tuesday重阳 - Double Ninth Festival
2023October 23Monday重阳 - Double Ninth Festival
2024October 11Friday重阳 - Double Ninth Festival
2025October 29Wednesday重阳 - Double Ninth Festival

Origin

Chinese Double Ninth Festival Once there was a man named Huan Jing, who believed that a monster would bring pestilence. He told his countrymen to hide on a hill while he went to defeat the monster. Later, people celebrated Huan Jing's defeat of the monster on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month.

Activities

Hiking (登高) - It is customary, on Double Ninth day, to go hiking in the mountains, enjoying the autumn sky and the clarity of the heights. The climbing of mountains also represents "climbing to a higher position", which is symbolic of an increase in health, happiness and prosperity in ones life. Along with being associated with yang energy, nine is also the number associated with longevity. So if the potential "dangers" of the day can be skillfully negotiated, it can be the source of a fountain of auspicious energy.

Chinese Double Ninth - Chrysanthemum Wine Chrysanthemum Flower Viewing (赏菊) - Appreciating the beautiful chrysanthemum flowers, and drinking chrysanthemum wine, also are traditional aspects of the Double Ninth Festival. The ninth lunar month as a whole is known as the "month of chrysanthemum". Chrysanthemum wine is believed to have many physical and spiritual benefits. Each year, the flowers and grains for the wine are mixed, and the brewing process begun, only to be consumed on the following year’s Double Ninth Day.

Double Ninth Poem

Double Ninth day was frequently mentioned in Chinese literature. Among these, the most famous one is probably Wang Wei' poem:

    《九月九日憶山東兄弟》 (唐) 王維

    獨在異鄉為異客,
    每逢佳節倍思親。
    遙知兄弟登高處,
    遍插茱萸少一人。

English translation:

    Double Ninth, Remembering my Shandong Brothers
    by Wang Wei (Tang Dynasty)

    As a lonely stranger in a foreign land,
    At every holiday my homesickness increases.
    Far away, I know my brothers have reached the peak;
    They are wearing the zhuyu, but one is not present. 

 

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2021-05-26, 1157👍, 0💬