China News Service, Beijing, October 4th (Reporter Shangguan Yun) The Double Ninth Festival is a traditional festival with a long history in China.

  Cheng Peng, an assistant researcher at the Institute of Literature of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, believes that climbing high to appreciate the autumn and being grateful and respecting the elderly are two important themes of today's Chongyang festival.

In addition, there are activities such as sunbathing in autumn, putting paper kites, eating Chongyang cakes, and drinking chrysanthemum wine.

How did the Double Ninth Festival get its name?

  The Double Ninth Festival is also called the Ascension Festival, the Chongjiu Festival, the Chrysanthemum Festival, etc., which means peace, health and longevity.

Data map: Double Ninth Festival.

People came to the Tengwang Pavilion tourist area in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province to climb high and pray for blessings.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Jiang Tao

  Regarding the origin of the name of the Double Ninth Festival, Cheng Peng said that in the Book of Changes, the number of "nine" is the number of yang, and the two numbers of "nine and nine" overlap, so it is called "Chongyang"; because the sun and the moon meet each other Nine, so it is also called "Chongjiu".

When can the origin of the festival be traced back?

  According to Cheng Peng, the existing written records about the customs of the Double Ninth Festival were first seen in the "Jiqiu Ji" of "Lv's Spring and Autumn", which recorded the activities of the ancients to sacrifice to the emperor and ancestors during the harvest in September.

  According to research, the origin of the Double Ninth Festival can be traced back to ancient times.

During the Han Dynasty, the custom of Chongyang was further popularized.

Is it related to the ancient ritual of sacrificing the "big fire"?

  It is said that one of the prototypes of the Double Ninth Festival is the ancient ritual of sacrificing "big fire".

  Cheng Peng said that the "big fire" (Antarctica) is the time coordinate used by the ancients to determine the signs of seasonal production and seasonal life.

In ancient times, people divided the stars near the ecliptic into twenty-eight groups according to the orbits and positions of the sun, moon and stars, commonly known as "twenty-eight constellations".

  In the east, the horn, Kang, Di, Fang, Xin, Wei and Ji form a complete dragon-shaped astrological sign (Canglong Qisu).

In the season of "big fire" retirement in the autumn and winter, people will hold a corresponding farewell ceremony.

Data map: The picture shows the people express their blessings on the Double Ninth Festival according to the Qin etiquette, antique system, and traditional Chinese etiquette.

Photo by China News Agency reporter Zhang Tianfu

  With the development of society, people have a new understanding of seasons, and the ritual of offering sacrifices to the god of fire in September gradually declined.

How profound is the connotation of the Double Ninth Festival?

  The Double Ninth Festival is a festival with profound connotations. As time goes by, its customs are constantly enriched and developed.

  Cheng Peng explained that the written records of the name "Chongyang Festival" first appeared in the Three Kingdoms period. During the Wei and Jin Dynasties, the festival atmosphere gradually became stronger, and there were written records of chrysanthemum viewing and drinking customs. 

  For example, Tao Yuanming said in the preface of the poem "Nine Days of Leisurely Living": "I live alone, and I love the name of Jiu. Qiu Ju is full of gardens, and I hold the mashed glutinous rice.

  During the Tang Dynasty, the Double Ninth Festival was designated as an official festival.

Since then, the court and the people have celebrated the Double Ninth Festival together and held various activities during the festival.

In the Song Dynasty, the Double Ninth Festival was more lively. "Tokyo Dream Hualu" once recorded the grand occasion of the Double Ninth Festival in the Northern Song Dynasty.

How did the ancients celebrate the Double Ninth Festival?

  Chongyang can be regarded as one of the landmarks for the transition of autumn and winter in people's lives, and festivals and customs revolve around people's feelings in this season.

Data map: A girl in Hanfu flying a kite on the Double Ninth Festival.

Photo by Liu Kegeng

  Climbing high and looking into the distance is an important custom of this traditional festival.

Cheng Peng said that the custom of climbing high in Chongyang mainly stems from the climate characteristics at this time and the worship of mountains by the ancients.

In ancient times, folks on the Double Ninth Festival had the custom of climbing high to pray for blessings, worshiping gods and ancestors, and feasting to pray for longevity.

  In the Qing Dynasty, one of the customs of the Double Ninth Festival in Beijing was to stick chrysanthemum branches and leaves on doors and windows to "remove evil and bring good luck".

What is the significance of Chongyang cake?

  Chongyang cake is one of the delicacies at this time. It is also called flower cake, chrysanthemum cake and five-color cake.

Cheng Peng said that the exquisite Chongyang cake should be made into nine layers, like a pagoda, with two lambs on it, in line with the meaning of Chongyang (sheep).

  Sometimes, people put a small red paper flag (in place of dogwood) on the Double Ninth Cake and light candles.

Use "lighting" and "eating cake" instead of "climbing".

  There is still no fixed variety of Chongyang cakes today. The soft cakes eaten on the Double Ninth Festival are called Chongyang cakes.

What is the meaning of chrysanthemum wine?

  In addition to various cakes, chrysanthemum wine is also very popular.

Data map: Children and the elderly make Chongyang cakes together.

Photo by Meng Delong

  Cheng Peng introduced that chrysanthemum wine was regarded as an "auspicious wine" that must be drunk in Chongyang in ancient times, and was used to eliminate disasters and pray for good fortune.

Chrysanthemum wine is a medicinal wine with a slightly bitter taste, which can make people clear and refreshed after drinking, and has the auspicious meaning of dispelling disasters and praying for good fortune.

Why wear dogwood?

  Cheng Peng said that among the many customs of the Double Ninth Festival, the custom of inserting cornel is relatively widespread, and it is mainly popular in the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, the Huaihe River, and the Yangtze River basin.

  Inserting dogwood and hairpin chrysanthemum has been very common in the Tang Dynasty.

It is said that dogwood has a strong fragrance, has the functions of improving eyesight, refreshing the brain, etc., and can eliminate food accumulation and treat cold and heat.

  The ancients believed that on the day of the Double Ninth Festival, climbing the mountain and planting dogwoods could repel insects and dampness, and chase away wind and evil.

So the dogwood is worn on the arm or ground and placed in a sachet, and some are inserted on the head.

Most of them are worn by women and children, but also by men in some places.

How can traditional festivals be passed on?

  The ancients had the custom of feasting and praying for longevity on the Double Ninth Festival, which enshrined people's blessings on the health and longevity of the elderly, and activities such as climbing high and placing paper kites also reflected people's wishes for health and longevity.

  Cheng Peng said that now the Double Ninth Festival is also a festival for the elderly, which is endowed with the connotation of respecting the elderly.

The inheritance of festivals should not only follow the cultural core of ancient customs, but also conform to contemporary values.

  He believes that holding a feast for the elderly, drinking a feast to pray for longevity, or taking the elderly to climb a mountain, appreciating chrysanthemum, drinking chrysanthemum tea or chrysanthemum wine, and eating Chongyang cakes are all important forms of inheriting Chongyang customs.