Chung Yeung Festival Date: October 23
Chung Yeung Festival is a public holiday in China.
Chung Yeung Festival, also known as Autumn Remembrance, takes place on the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, which falls on October 26, 2009. The festival is a day to respect and remember ancestors, a practice widely valued by the Chinese.
History of China’s Chung Yeung Festival
Chung Yeung Jit is also known as “Chung Gau”; Chung meaning “double” and Gau meaning “nine”. Being the ninth day of the ninth month, it is “Double Nine” which symbolizes forever. On this day the Chinese people travel to the hillside to care for the graves of their ancestors and make sacrifices of special paper money and paper winter clothing.
Chung Yeung Festival also commemorates the day during the Han Dynasty (221 – 206 B.C.) when Fei Chang-fei, a Taoist soothsayer, advised a scholar, Huan Jing, to flee to the hills with his family to escape a pending disaster. Huan Jing and his family went to the hillside as directed, taking food and chrysanthemum wine with them. When they returned home they discovered that all the livestock had died from a plague, and they realized the soothsayer had saved their lives.
Chinese people have since commemorated that date by taking food and chrysanthemum wine to picnic on the hillsides. During this season, chrysanthemums, which are symbols of good health and longevity, are at their finest and are admired.
Chinese Chung Yeung Festival Traditions, Customs and Activities
On the day of Chung Yeung Festival, families journey to the graves of their ancestors to pay their respects and perform cleansing rites. After flying kites and hiking in the hills, they enjoy a picnic lunch which often includes ko, a Chinese cake.