There is a Traditional Chinese festival called “Chongyang Jie” 重阳节 (Double Yang) which happens in the Fall season of Chinese lunar calendar. It takes place on the ninth day of the ninth month in the lunar calendar. This year it falls on 10/7/19. The book “Yi Jing”易经, explains that the number nine represent Yang energy while the number six represent Yin energy. The double nines of this holiday give it special importance in Chinese culture because it is the Yang of the Yang.
This festival started in the East Han Dynasty (25–220 AD). On this day, Chinese people would go hiking a tall mountains to observe and appreciate views far and wide. This activity helps to open up one’s heart to relieve any sad, depressive mood. People tend to develop sad and depressive mood during this Chinese Fall season.
For thousands of years the Chinese people have observed human emotional change in relation to seasons. In the Chinese Five Element Theory, the Lung system’s emotion is sadness and the Lung system belongs to the season of Fall. Therefore people tend to feel sad and down starting in the Fall.
I find it interesting that Fall is the name for this season in the English language. Maybe there is a common human root that transcends culture and geographic locations. In order to relieve these sad and downward emotions, we need to counteract it by climbing up. Yes, it counts if you take the elevator up a tall building and look far and wide or ride a private helicopter.
There are other activities which the ancient Chinese people did to celebrate this festival: eating Chongyang cake and drinking chrysanthemum wine. Chongyang cake is very unique. It is made to have nine different layers to look like a flower. It is made from flour and chrysanthemum flowers. The ancient Chinese people appreciated the chrysanthemum, as it is one of the few flowers that bloom in this season while all other flowers wither. They carefully observed the chrysanthemum to appreciate its various colors, shapes and scents. They also tasted the flower in wines and cakes.
Wishing you a happy Chongyang festival!