Also known as the Chrysanthemum Festival, or the Double Nine Festival, the Chong Yang Festival is deeply rooted in Chinese tradition. This celebration goes back to the Han Dynasty (25 AD) and falls on the ninth day of the ninth month of the lunar calendar, this year being October 9, 2016.
The number nine in Chinese tradition is equivalent to the spiritual concept of “yang,” based on the theory of” Ying and Yang, “or the two opposing principles in nature. On the ninth day of the ninth month, it the power of yang doubles. However, certain actions taken by mere mortals on that day, attempt to offset the potentially powerful effects of the double nine, or double yang.
A popular activity on the Chong Yang Festival has been and is for families to go hiking and even climb mountains, “to rise up further with each step, and go against adversity to reach success and attain longevity,” as the legend says.
The chrysanthemum flower, which is in full bloom at this time of the year, is representative of the festival. The flower is prevalent in Chong Yang stories and poems that speak of its unyielding personality and brilliant color, as well as of the power of good nature against evil. There are over 3000 varieties of chrysanthemums in China.
On that day, Chinese also drink chrysanthemum wine and eat the zhuyu berry. Both are said to improve the body’s immunity, and have cleansing qualities.
Since the mid-1960s, the ninth day of the ninth month has also been designated as the day to celebrate and respect the elders, similar to Grandparents Day.
At Yu’s New Beijing Chinese Restaurant in Glen Ellyn, IL, we are always happy to share our Chinese traditions. Our restaurant is open seven days a week, where you can enjoy our wholesome, made fresh every day Chinese food by eating in, picking up your order, or having it delivered.
Yu’s New Beijing Chinese Restaurant
610 Roosevelt Rd.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137630.469-1535