Celebrating Double Ninth (Chung Yeung)

While we enjoy our once again allotted mid-week day off, it is important to remember the why behind it! With the many public holidays in Hong Kong, some may wonder what they mean, symbolize and how it is celebrated. 

Besides a day off from work, Hong Kong’s holidays have fascinating histories behind them and people who celebrate go all out. The holiday coming up is the Double Ninth (Chung Yeung) Festival.

Chrysanthemums are a symbol of the holiday as this time of the year marks the blooming of the chrysanthemum flower. 

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Where is it celebrated? When is it? 

Commonly celebrated in Hong Kong, mainland China, Taiwan, and other Asian countries such as Japan, Korea and Vietnam, The Double Ninth Festival falls on the ninth day of the ninth month of the lunar calendar. 

What is it?

It is a memorial festival where families visit the graves of their ancestors to pay their respect. However, it is not to be confused with the Ching Ming Festival, which is also a day to honor ancestors but occurs earlier in the year.

Why Ancestors? 

Honoring ancestors is an important practice and tradition in Hong Kong and Chinese culture as ancestors are believed to have a connection to a higher power. By honoring them, it is shown to bring luck and fortune into the family. Having two holidays a year dedicated to ancestors shows just how important the tradition is in Chinese culture. 

What do people do?

During the Double Ninth Festival, it is also common for friends and families to go hiking together, as climbing mountains symbolize climbing to a higher position in life and living longer. The cooler weather in Hong Kong around this time of year also marks the beginning of the hiking season, so hiking trails are sure to be crowded. 

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What about food?

As for food traditions, Chrysanthemum wine and tea are both common drinks as the festival takes place when the flowers are just about to bloom, as pictured above. Additionally, tea, in general, is a common beverage while families gather with one another. With Hong Kong’s prominent tea culture, the ever-so-popular “Hong Kong-style Milk Tea” which has also gained popularity worldwide, is common to see in gatherings. 

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Whether you take this as a day to self-care and recharge or spend time with family and friends, how you choose to spend the day is up to you. With such a cultural history and tradition behind the holiday, hopefully, this gave you more insight into what the holiday really means and how it is celebrated! 

By Vivian Fong

Vivian is currently a university student in her last year studying holistic health and wellness. Besides her passions in yoga, nutrition and all things health and wellness related, she loves social media, blogging and writing because of the creativity, inspiration and connection it brings.