Double Ninth Festival

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Double Nine Festival
Chai Wan Cemetery Hong Kong Double Ninth Festival 01.jpg
Chai Wan Cemetery, Hong Kong, 2015
Official nameDouble Ninth Festival (重九節) (重阳节)
Also calledChung Yeung Festival (重陽節)
Chōyō (重陽)
Jungyangjeol (중양절)[1][2]
Chrysanthemum Festival (菊の節句)
Observed byChinese[3], Japanese, Koreans[4]
Date9th day of the 9th lunar month
2017 dateOctober 28
2018 dateOctober 17
2019 dateOctober 7
2020 dateOctober 25
Frequencyannual
Double Ninth Festival
Traditional Chinese重陽節
Simplified Chinese重阳节

The Double Ninth Festival (Chong Yang Festival or Chung Yeung Festival in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, Chōyō (Japanese: 重陽, Kiku no Sekku), Jungyangjeol (Hangul: 중양절, Hanja: 重陽節)), observed on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese calendar, is a traditional Chinese holiday, mentioned in writing since before the Eastern Han period (before AD 25).[5]

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" (重陽節). To protect against danger, it is customary to climb a high mountain, drink chrysanthemum liquor, and wear the zhuyu (茱萸) plant, Cornus officinalis. (Both chrysanthemum and zhuyu are considered to have cleansing qualities and are used on other occasions to air out houses and cure illnesses.)

On this holiday some Chinese also visit the graves of their ancestors to pay their respects. In Hong Kong, whole extended families head to ancestral graves to clean them and repaint inscriptions, and to lay out food offerings such as roast suckling pig and fruit, which are then eaten (after the spirits have consumed the spiritual element of the food). Chongyang Cake is also popular. Incense sticks are burned.[6] Cemeteries get crowded, and each year grass fires are inadvertently started by the burning incense sticks.

Origin[edit]

Once there was a man named Heng 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 Heng Jing's defeat of the monster on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month.[citation needed]

In 1966, Taiwan rededicated the holiday as "Senior Citizens' Day",[7] underscoring one custom as it is observed in China, where the festival is also an opportunity to care for and appreciate the elderly.[8]

Double Ninth may have originated as a day to drive away danger, but like the Chinese New Year, over time it became a day of celebration. In contemporary times it is an occasion for hiking and chrysanthemum appreciation. Stores sell rice cakes (糕 "gāo", a homophone for height 高) with mini colorful flags to represent zhuyu. Most people drink chrysanthemum tea, while a few traditionalists drink homemade chrysanthemum wine. Children learn poems about chrysanthemums, and many localities host chrysanthemum exhibits. Mountain climbing races are also popular; winners get to wear a wreath made of zhuyu.

Festivities[edit]

Japan[edit]

Karasu-zumo - lit. "crow sumo", part of the festivities held on September 9 at Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto

In Japan, the festival is known as Chōyō but also as the Chrysanthemum Festival (菊の節句, Kiku no Sekku) and it is one of the Japan's five sacred ancient festivals (sekku).[9][10][11] It is most commonly celebrated on the 9th day of the 9th month according to the Gregorian calendar rather than the lunar calendar, i.e. on September 9. It is celebrated at both Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples.[12] The festival is celebrated in the wish for the longevity of one's life and is observed by drinking chrysanthemum sake and eating dishes such as chestnut rice or (kuri-gohan) and chestnuts with glutinous rice or (guri-mochi).[13]

Online, Touhou Project fans celebrate September 9th as "Cirno Day" due to the number 9 being associated with the character Cirno.

Korea[edit]

In Korea, the festival is known as Jungyangjeol (중양절) and it is celebrated on the 9th day of the 9th month.[14] Koreans would consume chrysanthemum leaves in pancakes. As the festival is meant to celebrate and cultivate good health, outdoor activities such as carrying dogwood, climbing hills or mountains for picnics as well as gazing at chrysanthemum blossoms are carried out.[15][16]

Poem[edit]

There is an oft-quoted[citation needed] poem about the holiday, Double Ninth, Remembering my Shandong Brothers (九月九日憶山東兄弟), by the Tang Dynasty poet Wang Wei:

獨在異鄉為異客,
dú zài yì xiāng wéi yì kè
每逢佳節倍思親。
měi féng jiā jié bèi sī qīn
遙知兄弟登高處,
yáo zhī xiōng dì dēng gāo chù
遍插茱萸少一人。
biàn chā zhū yú shǎo yì rén

A lone alien in a land foreign,
Each holiday is accompanied by pining reminiscences of one's kith and kin.
Knowing, from afar, the heights one's elder and younger brothers have scaled;
While inserting Cornelian Cherry (Cornus Officinalis), there is one soul less, amiss.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roy, Christian (2004). Traditional Festivals: A Multicultural Encyclopedia. p. 116. ISBN 978-1576070895.
  2. ^ National Folk Museum of Korea (2015). Encyclopedia of Korean Seasonal Customs: Encyclopedia of Korean Folklore and Traditional Culture. Gil-Job-Ie Media. p. 232.
  3. ^ Roy, Christian (2004). Traditional Festivals: A Multicultural Encyclopedia. p. 116. ISBN 978-1576070895.
  4. ^ Roy, Christian (2004). Traditional Festivals: A Multicultural Encyclopedia. p. 116. ISBN 978-1576070895.
  5. ^ Roy, Christian (2004). Traditional Festivals: A Multicultural Encyclopedia. p. 116. ISBN 978-1576070895.
  6. ^ Chung Yueng Festival, Discover Hong Kong
  7. ^ "Chrysanthemums, Climbing, and Consideration of the Elderly - Double Ninth Day". Gio.gov.tw. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2007-10-25.
  9. ^ "Chrysanthemum Festival". The Free Dictionary. 2010. Retrieved 2015-06-08.
  10. ^ "菊の節句(重陽の節句)【The Chrysanthemum Festival (The Choyo Festival)". 英語対訳で読む日本の文化. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  11. ^ "Chapter 3: Kiku no sekku". Japan Federation of Pottery Wholesalers’ Co-operative Association. 3 June 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  12. ^ "Autumn (July - September)". Tokyo Metropolitan Library. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  13. ^ "Chapter 3: Kiku no sekku". Japan Federation of Pottery Wholesalers’ Co-operative Association. 3 June 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  14. ^ National Folk Museum of Korea (2015). Encyclopedia of Korean Seasonal Customs: Encyclopedia of Korean Folklore and Traditional Culture. Gil-Job-Ie Media. p. 232.
  15. ^ Roy, Christian (2004). Traditional Festivals: A Multicultural Encyclopedia. p. 116. ISBN 978-1576070895.
  16. ^ National Folk Museum of Korea (2015). Encyclopedia of Korean Seasonal Customs: Encyclopedia of Korean Folklore and Traditional Culture. Gil-Job-Ie Media. p. 232.