Climbing mountains, flying kites, the customs of Chong Yang Festival

Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Issue 490, Page 3
Word count: 381
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The traditional Chinese festival of “Chong Yang” that occurred yesterday according to the western calendar saw families and couples make use of the public holiday to climb mountains such as Mt Guia and the Coloane Peak.

As the festival is observed on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese calendar and nine is a yang (the Chinese spiritual concept of yin and yang) number, “Chong Yang” in Chinese means “double yang”.

Customs on this holiday and popular among the Chinese population in Macau included climbing a mountain, flying kites and visiting the graves of their ancestors to pay their respects.

Some people also bought paper-made windmills during the day and by spinning them it is believed that good luck will come to their lives.

Mt Guia was yesterday climbed by many locals with parents taking their children to fly paper kites or play badminton, friends going in groups and couples holding windmills to the peak.

The mild and cool weather was also another reason to attract both young and old to climb to the lighthouse which they might not have visited during other days throughout the year.

Mr Cheng and Ms Cheuk, a young couple who climbed Mt Guia with two red windmills in hand yesterday afternoon, told the Macau Daily Times they visited the same place every year usually only on the festival as it was “a tradition”.

Saying the windmills symbolised “good luck”, the couple said they were for their families to also wish them “good health”.

Mr Cheng also said that the “cool and calm” weather yesterday was “perfect for climbing mountains” and the air was “cleaner” at the peak area.

However, the couple said their families were not used to visiting a cemetery on Chong Yang but usually on Qing Ming Festival which is a more commonly known day for Chinese people to remember and honour their ancestors at graveyards, sweep the tombs and build paper gifts for the departed.

The snack stall on Mt Guia yesterday also made a “higher profit” than on usual days as more parents spent on kites and windmills for their children and played with them in the open area on the hill.

Meanwhile, the Public Security Police were stationed at major local cemeteries to maintain order and traffic.

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