All You Need to Know about Chongyang Festival

Written by Jenni Li

Translated by Jennifer J. Lau

 
chongyang-gif.gif

什麼是重陽節?

重陽節最早在戰國時期形成,到了唐代被正式定為民間節日,這個傳統一直流傳到今天。

關於重陽節的由來有很多說法,最廣為人知的版本,是東漢的桓景得到仙人指點,在九月九日這一天與鄉親父老爬山到高處躲避災難,每人隨身攜帶著一種叫做茱萸的植物,登上山後人人要喝一口菊花酒。重陽登高,喝菊花酒,佩戴茱萸香囊的習俗也是從那時開始形成的。在中國的古代,菊花代表長壽,逐漸地,重陽節也演化出「求長壽」的含義,發展到今天,重陽節更是添加了「尊敬老人」這個內容,因此,這一天也被稱為「老年節」。

Chongyang Festival (also known as the Double Ninth Festival) began during the Warring States Period (475–221 BC) in ancient China. It became an official holiday during the Tang dynasty rule (618 - 907 CE) and continues to be celebrated today.

There are many origin stories about Chongyang Festival. The most well-known version comes from a story about a man named Heng Jing, from Donghan, who received wisdom from the gods. On the ninth day of the ninth month, him and his male elders went to the mountains to avoid catastrophe. Everyone carried a plant known as dogwood berries (zhuyu). After they arrived atop the mountain, everyone drank a mouthful of chrysanthemum liquor. Thus, the tradition of drinking chrysanthemum liquor, carrying dogwood berries, and climbing mountains on this day commenced. In ancient China, chrysanthemum represents longevity. Slowly, the Chongyang Festival became one that embodies the hope of longevity. As it developed, people began to include respecting elders as part of the celebration and that is why this day is also synonymous with “Elders’ Day.”

重陽節的傳統習俗以出遊賞秋、登高遠眺、觀賞菊花、吃重陽糕、飲菊花酒為主,但在不同地區,重陽節的慶祝方式也有其地方特色。

The traditional customs are mainly for travelling and admiring autumn scenes, climbing to higher elevations, viewing chrysanthemums, eating chrysanthemum cakes, and drinking chrysanthemum wine, but there are unique local characteristics to the celebration in different Chinese-speaking regions.

 
 

在香港和澳門

與「春祭」清明相對,重陽則為「秋祭」。重陽節那天正是秋高氣爽,許多港澳居民帶上豐富的祭品和香燭來拜祭先人,掃墓結束後,舉家去野外郊遊。

In Hong Kong and Macao, Chongyang is considered as the “Autumn Festival,” which contrasts “Spring Festival.” On the day of the festival, it is usually at the heart of autumn and many residents in Hong Kong and Macao will bring sacrifices and burn incense to worship their ancestors. After they visit the graves, the whole family will venture into nature for a short trip.

在台灣

重陽節前正好開始吹起北風,非常適合放風箏,因此賽紙鳶(放風箏)在台灣一直是深受人們喜愛的重陽節活動。

In Taiwan, just before the Chongyang Festival, the north wind begins to pick up and is very suitable for flying kites! And that is why, flying kites is a very well-loved activity for this day.

chongyang4.jpg

在上海

重陽節期間舉辦菊花展的歷史頗為悠久,豫園的行家從新巧、高貴、珍異這三個方面為參展菊花打分。

In Shanghai, many chrysanthemum exhibitions and competitions are held during the Chongyang Festival. The experts of Yuyuan Garden adjudicate the chrysanthemums from three criteria: innovation, elegance, and rarity.

 
 

辦菊花展也是許多其它城市的重陽節必備主題活動。雖然許多年輕人不再關注農曆日期,但秋高氣爽之時走出家門,見到城市街道或廣場上精心擺放的一盆盆菊花,也一定不難令人記起這一天的特別之處!

Chrysanthemum exhibitions also appear in many other cities as a staple of the holiday. Even though many young people no longer pay attention to the lunar calendar, but they will still notice this Chongyang Festival because once they leave their abode, the whole city and its streets are covered with rows and rows of chrysanthemum planters. It’s hard to miss the celebration wherever one may go!