With at least 2,500 years of history, the Chongyang Festival, which is also known as the Double Ninth Festival, entered China's list of intangible cultural heritage in 2006. There are several theories about the origin of this festival but the best known is related to the Yin/Yang philosophy, one of the most important bases for the Chinese worldview where Yin represents the elements of darkness, while Yang represents life and brightness, also represented by the number 9. Thus, the ninth day of the ninth month is a double day representation of Yang, and that is where the name “Chong Yang” comes from, since “Chong” means “repeat” in Chinese.
Another famous theory about the origins of the Chongyang Festival is based on the legend of Heng Jing, and his fight against a monster that would bring a terrible plague to China, and how he defeated that monster while his compatriots were hiding on a hill. Thus, Heng Jing's victory over the monster is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month.
During the festival, families’ get-togethers take place, in which members remember their ancestors, the sacrifices they made and the difficulties they suffered. People celebrate the festival by doing various activities, including mountain climbing, viewing chrysanthemums, wearing Zhuyu flowers, drinking chrysanthemum wines, and eating Chongyang cakes. Climbing mountains to enjoy autumn and being grateful to the elderly are the two main themes of this festival today.
This year the Festival will be held on Thursday, October 14th.