Chung Yueng festival - Hong Kong A La Carte

15 October 2018

This Wednesday we are celebrating the Chung Yueng festival which falls on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month.
Just like many traditional Chinese celebrations, the festival’s origins are difficult to identify but the legends are numerous.

For some, the 9th day of the 9th lunar month produces “too much” Yang and brings misfortune. In order to seek protection and to ward off bad luck, climbing mountains has become traditional that day.

To others, the festival celebrates a man who fought a monster after taking his village’s inhabitants to the top of a hill. Chung Yueng celebrates this man’s victory over the monster.

Others believe that a soothsayer advised a man to take his familiy to high ground for the 9th day of the 9th lunar month. The man complied and the next day discovered that all the inhabitants of his village had been slaughtered.

Nowadays, the festival is an occasion for families to get together and to congregate at cemeteries to worship ancestors: tombs are cleaned, offerings are given and incense burnt (just like during Ching Ming, this tradition is unfortunately associated with wild fires ).

People also organise picnics on high ground and eat special cakes called “Ko”, which sounds similar to “high” or “top”, in the hope they will get a promotion!