|The "Chong Yang Festival" is celebrated on the ninth day of the
ninth lunar month, and it is as such known as the Double Ninth Festival.
Origins: The festival began as early as the Warring States
Period (475 - 221 BC). According to the yin/yang dichotomy that forms a
basis to the Chinese world view, yin represents the elements of darkness
and yang represents life and brightness. The number nine is regarded as
yang. The ninth day of the ninth month is a double yang day, hence the
name "Chong Yang Festival". (Chong means "repeat" in Chinese.) The ninth
month also heralds the approach of winter. It is a time when the living
need warm clothing, and filial Chinese sons and daughters extended this to
make the festival a time for providing winter clothes for their ancestors.
The Double Ninth Festival, therefore, also became an occasion to visit the
graves of dead family members. Clothes made of paper would then be burnt
Climbing mountains: On the Double Ninth Festival, people
customarily climb mountains, appreciate chrysanthemum flowers, drink
chrysanthemum wine, and eat double-ninth cakes. The Double Ninth Festival
is also the "Old Men Festival". Old people are especially meant to improve
their health by taking part in the activities on the day of the festival.
Family get-togethers: The Double Ninth Festival is also a time
for family get-togethers. It is an occasion to remember one's ancestors,
the sacrifices they made and the hardships they underwent. Often, family
outings are organised during which people search to renew their
appreciation of nature and to reaffirm their love and concern for family
members and close friends.