Chung Yeung Festival The Traditional Chinese Festival Of Worshiping The Ancestors
Where: – Hong Kong, China Month:- October
The festival of ‘Chung Yeung’ is also known as the ‘Double Nine Festival’ as it is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. As per the traditional Chinese beliefs, the number ‘9’ is a ‘Yang’ number which carries superior importance in spiritual perspective. As this festival day is consists of double 9s, it is often referred as ‘Double Yang Festival’ as well.
WHY THEY CELEBRATE?
The traditional festival of ‘Chung Yeung’ is celebrated for worshiping the ancestors by visiting their crypts in cemeteries. The tradition is observed in other countries as well, which include Japan, Vietnam & Korea.
During the festival, another tradition is also followed to revere the folklore originated during the ‘Han Dynasty’ (202 BC To 220 BC). As per the folklore, an oracle named Fei Changfang once advised his disciple named ‘Huan Jing’, who was learning the magic arts from master Changfeng, to move to the top of a nearby mountain along with his kin. Master Changfang had sensed the imminent disaster gearing up to destroy the hometown of his disciple on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month & didn’t want the family of his disciple to suffer. ‘Huang Jing’ followed the master’s advice & acted accordingly. When he returned back home in the evening, he found all his livestock dead. He later on came to know that his livestock had fallen prey to the wrath of the disaster & he & his family had managed to escape the danger since they followed the master’s advice!
HOW THEY CELEBRATE?
As the festival falls in the season of autumn & during the harvest period, the atmosphere gets filled with the bright skies & the opulence! People celebrate this season of opulence by arranging outdoor picnics that provide all family members to unite & spend few happy hours together. They try to multiply their joy by symbolically including their ancestors in their party & celebration.
The celebration often consists of very humble family get-together wherein, the families visit the crypts of their forefathers & entreat for the mercy & appreciate the ancestors for the blessings. They also clean the area around the crypt, repaint the inscriptions & offer food such as roast suckling pig, fruits & finest of chrysanthemum wine. They burn the incense sticks to make the atmosphere pleasant & also make sacrifices of special paper currency & winter clothing made of paper which will be used by the ancestors during their journey in the afterlife!
The food which was sacrificed to the forefathers, then consumed by everyone assuming the forefathers have already consumed their share. Sips of chrysanthemum wine which is considered as the symbol of good health are taken. People also indulge in other activities such as kite flying & hiking in the hilly region. People living in flatter region with no mountains or the hills in the vicinity, often enjoy organizing picnics & munching Chinese Ko cakes.
Thus, traditional Chinese celebrate this warm festival by offering homage to the forefathers & roaming around in the hilly region to enjoy the autumn beauty of the Mother Nature.