This year the Chung Yeung festival falls on 25th of October. The day is always the ninth day of the ninth month of the lunar calendar. The festival is a holiday in Hong Kong and people don't have to work and normally the following day of the Chung Yeung festival is a holiday if the day festival is on a Sunday. The festival is fairly similar to the Ching Ming festival which is earlier in the year. Both the festivals include family gathering, visiting the cemetery and worshiping the ancestors. However, Chung Yeung festival has some differences when it comes to the activities that people do.
There are several different variations of the origin of the festival. it is said that there was a man called Han that lived in a village in the country side. One day, which was the ninth day of the ninth month, he took his family and some villagers up the mountain close to the village. They stayed there for the whole day, and then returned to the village. However, when they came back they found the rest of the village dead. There are many different stories of how the villagers died, some include, landslide, pestilence and other reasons. Therefore it is believed that the hike up the mountain saved their life.
So, in the belief that the mountain saved those people back in the days, Hong Kongers go hiking on Chung Yeung festival. It has become an activity to do for good luck in Hong Kong. It is also said that people should hike to the highest points of the city for the best fortune. The day is also spent with the family, after a hike or grave+sweeping. It is a day for family gathering and celebration of ancestors. The family will also collectively pay their respect to those who passed away.
Other activities on this day include kite flying, which is believed to sweep the bad luck of the earth for good. This custom is normal in Hong Kong during the festival. Another normal activity is going on a picnic. This is not only a great way to spend family time or enjoy nature, but it is said it could bring luck if you don't go hiking to a city top. However to get lucky on a picnic you need to bring a special cake to eat, which has the name Ko. You eat this one on a picnic and you will get equally lucky as the people who hike, it's said.
Overall, the holiday is also a family day, where activities with the family are highly appreciated. How will you celebrate the holiday?
1. Big Dodzy