Chongyang Festival is celebrated immediately after the Mid-Autumn Festival. Usually its celebration falls on the 9th day of the 9th month of the lunar calendar. At this time in China there is a fairly clear, but cool weather, chrysanthemums are blooming everywhere.
It has long been customary to go for a walk in the mountains on this day, and, having reached the top, drink a glass of aromatic wine infused on chrysanthemum petals. It is believed that such a walk helps to get rid of adversity and problems.
This belief comes from an old Chinese legend. Legend has it that an evil spirit lived a long time ago. And when he appeared, many died immediately. There was a guy named Heng Jing. He lost his parents just one of those times when an evil spirit appeared. By all means, he decided to take revenge on him and save the people from torment. Heng had a teacher who taught him how to fight an evil spirit. He said that it was impossible to defeat him in a regular battle. Then Heng on the 9th of the 9th month took all the people from the village to the mountains. To each he gave a twig of dogwood and wine infused with chrysanthemums. When the spirit appeared, he was confused by the smell of dogwood and wine, and Heng was able to kill him. That is why it is customary to go for a walk in the mountains on this day.
Chunyangao cakes, made from rice or wheat flour and decorated with apricot pits, dates, raisins or nuts, are also considered a traditional dish on this day.
Since 1989, the Chongyang holiday has been approved by the State Councils of the PRC as an official holiday of the elderly. 9 is a lucky number in China. And this holiday contains two nines, therefore it is considered a symbol of health and longevity. Every year on this holiday, various Chinese institutions, organizations, street committees arrange autumn walks in the mountains for pensioners. It is also customary to give gifts to the elderly on this day or just spend time with them.
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