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Longevity Cultivation at Chóng Yáng Festival

重Chóng陽Yáng節 Festival is also named The Double Ninth Festival or Chung Yeung Festival in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan; Chōyō no Sekku (重陽の節句, Kiku no Sekku) in Japan, Jungyangjeol (Hangul: 중양절, Hanja: 重陽節) in Korea; And Tết Trùng Cửu among Vietnamese. It is on the ninth day of September in the Lunar Calendar and is widely celebrated in East Asian culture. According to the I-ching, 9 is the most significant Yang number, and Yang energy symbolizes vitality, brightness, upward seeking, and positive aspects in longevity cultivation. Chong Yang Festival has a double 9 (as on September 9th, or 9/9). In ancient Chinese, the number 9 shares the same pronunciation as the word 久(pronounced “jiu” and means “long time”). Thus, it is considered a very auspicious date for seeking longevity. In many parts of Asia, Chong Yang is also a senior care day; people send wishes for health and longevity to elderly family and friends.

Traditional Chinese medicine health care emphasizes the great importance of harmony between human health and the natural environment. The ninth month of the lunar calendar means that we have officially entered the Autumn season in the northern hemisphere. During this time, Metal is considered the dominant element. The temperature difference between day and night becomes larger, vegetation begins to wither in many places, and the human body's Qi tends to move inward and downward. At this time, people are prone to feeling sad, irritated, and depressed. Traditional Chinese medicine can help regulate the health of the body by distributing Lung Qi and activating Yang Qi. The wise ancients discovered the mystery as early as 2,000 years ago, and we can see many in the traditional celebrations of the Chong Yang Festival in line with the principles of traditional Chinese medicine. These activities are great for participating with family and friends and also suitable for enjoying a little private time alone. Here are my favorite activities. Let's have a look:

1. Ju Hua (Chrysanthemum) Worship

Autumn is the lush time for chrysanthemums, and the colorful chrysanthemums add color and vitality to the cold season. It is also because it carries out the season of withering flowers and does not compete with other flowers; people think it has a noble character.

TCM believes that chrysanthemum has the effect of dispelling wind and clearing heat, calming the liver, and improving eyesight. Aromatherapy believes that chrysanthemums can calm the mind and soothe emotions. The culinary use of chrysanthemum can be very creative:

  • Chinese people like to use chrysanthemums with goji berry, honey, an herb called Shan Zhu Yu, jujube dates, etc., to make tea and flower cakes, or add fresh chrysanthemums to chicken soup and crab salad. (Ask TCM Healing Center front desk for chrysanthemum tea bags)

  • Japanese make chrysanthemum sake.

  • Koreans like to make chrysanthemum leaf pancakes.

Arrange a few beautiful chrysanthemum bouquets, have a cup of chrysanthemum tea with a piece of chrysanthemum cake; or take a glass of chrysanthemum sake with a side of crab and chrysanthemum salad. Your beloved families may paint or draw a beautiful chrysanthemum portrait next to you. What a wonderful life!

2. Hiking High

Ancients believed that by hiking in the mountains and looking far from the mountain top, you could see the vast scene you can't usually see. This can open up your heart and be a reminder to not preoccupy yourself with life's trivial and narrow attachments. This way, all melancholic and sad thoughts will dissipate immediately. Physically going to a higher place also symbolizes pursuing a farther and higher place in life and expresses hope and wishes for Longevity.

Hiking can promote blood circulation throughout the body and enhances cardiopulmonary function. Strengthening cardiopulmonary function improves one's immunity and also has cosmetic effects.

More importantly, with the increase of blood oxygen content and the improvement of blood circulation, blockages in the channels will be drained, and the stagnant qi will be soothed. With the free flow of Qi and blood, the mind and spirit will be calmly held inside our bodies. The vibrant and optimistic Yang energy will distribute evenly throughout the body to relieve anger and depression. Let's go hiking during this Chong Yang festival!

Are you going to do some Chong Yang activities? Don't forget to share your memories with TCM Healing community! TCM Healing also prepared some easy-to-follow Autumn tips; click to read.

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