Why is the Double Ninth Festival celebrated?

This Wednesday is the 9th day of the 9th lunar month, which is the traditional Chongyang Festival, or Double Ninth Festival. The lunar calendar on September 9, is the traditional double ninth festival, also calls “The Old Person Festival”. The double ninth Festival as early as already formed in the Warring States time, to the Tang dynasty, The double ninth Festival has been decided as officially folk the holiday, hereafter the double ninth festival follows until now. Omeida Chinese Academy organized a trip to climb the TV Tower. it is an ancient and mysterious book Yi Jing, or The Book of Changes, number “6” was thought to be of Yin character, meaning feminine or negative, while number “9” was thought to be Yang, meaning masculine or positive. So the number nine in both month and day create the Double Ninth Festival, or Chongyang Festival. Chong in Chinese means “double.” Also, as double ninth was pronounced the same as the word to signify “forever”, both are “Jiu Jiu,” the Chinese ancestors considered it an auspicious day worth celebration. That’s why ancient Chinese began to celebrate this festival long time ago.

Why celebrate Double Ninth Festival by hiking?

The custom of ascending a height to avoid epidemics was passed down from long time ago. Therefore, the Double Ninth Festival is also called “Height Ascending Festival”. The height people will reach is usually a mountain or a tower. Ancient literary figures have left many poems depicting the activity. Even today, people still swarm to famous or little known mountains on this day.

How to Celebrate Double Ninth Festival

On this day, people will eat Double Ninth Gao (or Cake). In Chinese, gao (cake) has the same pronunciation with gao (height). People do so just to hope progress in everything they are engaged in. There is no fixed ways for the Double Ninth Cake, but super cakes will have as many as nine layers, looking like a tower.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. Going climbing is one of the most popular ways to celebrate the festival. Apart from warding off river demons and avoiding disaster, ascending physically also symbolizes climbing to a higher position, and having a longer life, especially for elderly people. Last year, almost 10,000 people climbed a specific mountain in China’s eastern province Zhejiang. The festival is a time to show special care to older people, or to remember ancestors. In 1989, China’s government named the festival China’s Senior Day (link in Chinese).It is really refreshing to climb mountains and enjoy the beauty of nature during this bright and clear time in autumn.
Apart from expelling bad luck and disasters, climbing mountains also indicate “climbing to a higher position”, and it is also an important reason why ancient people pay attention to this custom. Another reason that climbing mountains is valued by people, especially by the elderly, is that it means “climb to a longevous life”.