Chinese Double Ninth Festival

Chinese Double Ninth - Hiking

The ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese lunar calendar is the Chinese Double Ninth Festival (重阳节). According to the I Ching, nine is a yang number; the ninth day of the ninth lunar month (or double nine) has too much yang (a traditional Chinese spiritual concept) and is thus a potentially dangerous date. Hence, the day is also called "Double Yang Festival". To protect against danger, it is customary to climb a high mountain, drink chrysanthemum wine, and wear cornus officinalis. Both chrysanthemum and cornus officinalis are considered to have cleansing qualities.

The Chinese Double Ninth Festival falls on the following dates in the Gregorian calendar:

Year 2011WednesdayOctober 5, 2011Chinese Double Ninth Festival
Year 2012TuesdayOctober 23, 2012Chinese Double Ninth Festival
Year 2013SundayOctober 13, 2013Chinese Double Ninth Festival
Year 2014ThursdayOctober 2, 2014Chinese Double Ninth Festival
Year 2015WednesdayOctober 21, 2015Chinese Double Ninth Festival
Year 2016SundayOctober 9, 2016Chinese Double Ninth Festival
Year 2017SaturdayOctober 28, 2017Chinese Double Ninth Festival
Year 2018WednesdayOctober 17, 2018Chinese Double Ninth Festival
Year 2019MondayOctober 7, 2019Chinese Double Ninth Festival
Year 2020SundayOctober 25, 2020Chinese Double Ninth Festival


Chinese Double Ninth Festival Once there was a man named Huan Jing, who believed that a monster would bring pestilence. He told his countrymen to hide on a hill while he went to defeat the monster. Later, people celebrated Huan Jing's defeat of the monster on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month.


Hiking (登高) - It is customary, on Double Ninth day, to go hiking in the mountains, enjoying the autumn sky and the clarity of the heights. The climbing of mountains also represents "climbing to a higher position", which is symbolic of an increase in health, happiness and prosperity in ones life. Along with being associated with yang energy, nine is also the number associated with longevity. So if the potential "dangers" of the day can be skillfully negotiated, it can be the source of a fountain of auspicious energy.

Chinese Double Ninth - Chrysanthemum Wine Chrysanthemum Flower Viewing (赏菊) - Appreciating the beautiful chrysanthemum flowers, and drinking chrysanthemum wine, also are traditional aspects of the Double Ninth Festival. The ninth lunar month as a whole is known as the "month of chrysanthemum". Chrysanthemum wine is believed to have many physical and spiritual benefits. Each year, the flowers and grains for the wine are mixed, and the brewing process begun, only to be consumed on the following year’s Double Ninth Day.

Double Ninth Poem

Double Ninth day was frequently mentioned in Chinese literature. Among these, the most famous one is probably Wang Wei' poem:

    《九月九日憶山東兄弟》 (唐) 王維


English translation:

    Double Ninth, Remembering my Shandong Brothers
    by Wang Wei (Tang Dynasty)

    As a lonely stranger in a foreign land,
    At every holiday my homesickness increases.
    Far away, I know my brothers have reached the peak;
    They are wearing the zhuyu, but one is not present.