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Double Ninth Festival, Chung-Yang Jie

2024 Chinese Double Ninth Festival is on October 11, 2024
2025 Chinese Double Ninth Festival is on October 29, 2025

Chinese Double Ninth Festival is the 9th day of the 9th lunar month, which is October 11, 2024. The Chinese call this day Chung-Yang Jie and Korean call it Jungyangjeol. The Republic of China (Taiwan) also names it Senior Citizens' Day. This is because the government wants to teach the youth respect for the elders. Today, the mayors of the major cities in Taiwan will visit the houses of senior citizens on the Double Ninth day to ensure that the next generation will remember this festival.

The Origin of the Double Ninth Festival

The new generation in China doesn't celebrate this festival, because this is not a fun day for young people. So people forget the legend. The story of the Double Ninth Festival began in the Han Dynasty. One person, called Mr. Huan (around 25–220 AD), was told that the impending plague is coming on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month. He and his family carried arm bags of the dogwood's leaf, escaped to the mountain in the early morning. They drank chrysanthemum wine on the hill to avoid the infection. They returned home at night and found all the livestock were dead.

Another version of the story is a river demon caused the plague. Mr. Huan learned martial arts from a fairy. After graduation, fairy sent him home on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month. Mr. Huan asked village people to wear dogwood's leaf, drink a glass of the chrysanthemum wine, and then escape to the mountain. Mr. Huan killed the river demon alone. Later, wearing dogwood's leaf, drinking chrysanthemum wine, and climbing mountains have become a custom on the Double Ninth Festival.

The Custom of the Double Ninth Festival

The chrysanthemum flower is the prettiest flower in the 9th lunar month. Indeed, The other name of the 9th lunar month is chrysanthemum month. The best chrysanthemum wine is made from the 9th month's flowers. The dogwood is hard to find in town. So, people might go to the hills to find the dogwood. At the same time, they might visit their ancestors' tombs in the hills and clean them up as they do during the Ching-Ming Festival. In later times, people only visited the tombs during the Ching-Ming Festival and went to the hills for hiking during the Double-Nine Festival like today. Hiking to the hill means getting higher in one's career. Traditionally, the Chinese made Chung-Yang cake during the festival, because the Chinese pronounce cake and high with the same sound. Today not too many Chinese make the cake anymore.

Since it is so beautiful, artists like to paint the chrysanthemum in the 9th lunar month and poets like to make poems on the night of the Double Ninth Festival.

It is a customary activity, on the day of the Double Ninth Festival, for the Chinese to hike on the hill. During the evening they should carry a bag of dogwood and go to the Double Ninth Festival party. They drink the chrysanthemum wine, watch the chrysanthemums and talk about paintings and poetry.

Today, the Chinese don't have the time to celebrate this festival, since this is not a national holiday in China. In Taiwan, some people will fly kites in competitions during that weekend, because it's usually windy in the 9th lunar month.

The Dates of Chinese Festival

Modified: October 31, 2021

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