by Michelle Hua
Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Dragon Boat Festival are the more well-known Chinese holidays. However, there are several holidays that are often overlooked or forgotten, such as the Double Nine Festival. This celebration takes place on September 9th on the lunar calendar. Like many Chinese holidays, Double Nine Festival has a unique backstory.
Legend has it, during the times of ancient China, a monster lived in the Nu River. Every year, the monster would come from the river and spread a disease to the villagers by the river. A young man named Hengjing decided to find a way to kill the monster after his parents died of the monster’s plague. Hengjing traveled for many years, and finally found an immortal being, who taught him magic to defeat the monster. The immortal being told Hengjing the monster would attack on the ninth day of the ninth month, and sent him back to his village with a sword, chrysanthemum wine, and a cornelian cherry branch. When he reached the village, Hengjing gave each village a piece of the cornelian cherry branch and the wine, then instructed them to hide on a nearby mountain. When the monster came, it noticed the scent of the cornelian cherries. While it was distracted, Hengjing quickly attacked and killed the monster.
Double Nine Festival’s traditions are said to have been created to celebrate Hengjing’s victory against the monster. Activities surrounding this holiday include hiking, drinking chrysanthemum