The Double Ninth Festival celebrated this past Saturday

October 18, 2010 | Posted by Vicky

On the Double Ninth Festival, chrysanthemum, above, is consumed as tea and given as gifts to family and loved ones.

In the lunar calendar, the ninth of September is a traditional Chinese festival, which is called The Double Ninth Festival. Although this festival was originally formed as early as the Period of Warring States (475-211 BC), it did not officially become a folk festival until the Tang Dynasty (618–907). Since then, people in China have followed this festival dynasty by dynasty up to today.

Incidentally, this past Saturday was the Double Ninth Festival, and it was celebrated across China and parts of the world.

Customs of Double Ninth Festival

September in the lunar calendar is crisp autumn in China, people like to climb mountains to enjoy the good weather, exercise their bodies and take time to relax. For example, in modern day Beijing, climbing Fragrant Mountain to overlook the city and rich foliage is a favorite activity of city dwellers this time of year. While celebrating this festival, Chinese people like to eat pastries and drink alcohol made from the new grains. In ancient Chinese, this festival is most important for poets who usually gather together on this day to write poems about missing their hometowns and relatives while drinking and enjoying chrysanthemum tea.

Also called Old-Age Day

In traditional Chinese thought and philosophy, the number nine stands for "longevity," becaus it has the same pronunciation as that word in Chinese, which indicates that life is both healthy and long. Because of this, the Double Ninth Festival is also known as an Old-Age Day since the 1980s to show respect and kind wishes to the older generations. That is why people also visit their older relatives on this day and give them chrysanthemum tea, alcohol and cakes as gifts.

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