The Double Ninth festival is observed on the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese calendar, which generally falls in October in the Gregorian calendar. This festival is celebrated across Taiwan, China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam.
Like most festivals in Asian culture, the Double Ninth Festival has its roots in ancient texts and scriptures. In Chinese scripture, nine is considered a Yang number, which represents masculinity as opposed to Yin, which represents femininity. According to old classic Chinese texts, the ninth day of the ninth lunar month has a lot of Yang and is a potentially dangerous date.
Since nine is the highest odd single-digit number, people put two 9s together to signify longevity. Therefore, the ninth day of the ninth month has become a special day for people to pay their respects to the elderly, so the elderly can enjoy themselves.
It has also been declared China’s day for the elderly. It is customary to climb up a high mountain and have a traditional feast with Chongyang cake and chrysanthemum wine. The Chinese also wear the Zhuyu plant and pay homage to chrysanthemums on this day. Chrysanthemums and Zhuyu are supposed to contain cleansing properties and are therefore used to purify the surroundings, cure illnesses, and drive evil away. Some families will also visit the graves of their deceased ancestors during the festival.
Since chrysanthemums blossom during the Chongyang festival, chrysanthemum fairs are held in big parks that attract huge masses of visitors. Family members accompany their elders to have a relaxing day in a natural atmosphere while wishing for good health and happiness for them.
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