Customs at the Double Ninth Festival

( | Updated: 2019-01-18

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In autumn, the Double Ninth Festival takes place on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. There are various interesting activities for the celebration, such as climbing, appreciating chrysanthemums, drinking chrysanthemum wine, eating Chongyang cakes and wearing dogwood.


In ancient times, people used to climb high places at the festival, so the Double Ninth Festival is also called the "Climbing Festival". It is said that the customs originated in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). Scholars in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) often wrote poems about climbing, mainly describing the customs of the festival. For instance, a seven-character verse named Climbing by poet Du Fu is one of his masterpieces. There are no fixed places for climbing but often high mountains and high towers are chosen.

Eating Chongyang pastry

According to historical data, Chongyang pastry is also known as flower pastry, chrysanthemum pastry or five-color pastry. It is often cooked without a fixed formula but with much flexibility. At dawn, people put pastry on the forehead of their children, saying some words for good luck. Delicate pastry is nine-leveled, like a tower, with two sheep on the top, the same accent of Chongyang. Some put a little red flag and candle on the pastry. Perhaps climbing is represented by lighting the candle and eating the pastry. The little red flag is the substitute for dogwood. Chongyang pastry today still includes various types of pastry based on the festival.

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