Chongyang Festival, or the Double Ninth Festival, falls on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese lunar calendar. In Chinese, “nine” shares the pronunciation with “long”, so “double ninth” expresses people’s wish for a long and healthy life for the elderly. Chongyang Festival has been a holiday for showing respect to the elderly since ancient times. This year’s Chongyang, are you heading back home to celebrate it with the elderly by drinking wine and eating Chongyang cake, or climbing up high and wearing dogwood? The “Law of the People's Republic of China on Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly”, which came into effect on July 1st, 2013, stipulates that the ninth day of the ninth month in the lunar calendar each year shall be the Day of Older Persons.
Many countries celebrate their own Day of Older Persons. These festivals show various understandings of old age and their respective mindsets towards “being an elderly” in different cultures.
In Canada, the Senior Citizens’ Day falls on June 21st every year. The day is also nicknamed the “Day of Laughter”. On this day, people give their elderly parents humor and laughter as presents, instead of expensive things.
In Greece, people will choose an “auspicious day” to celebrate their Day of Older Persons. Other than entertainment activities, senior citizens — more accurately, those who are over 70, will race running.
America’s Day of Older Persons is also called “Grandparents’ Day”. Since 1978, the festival has been celebrated on the first Sunday in September after Labor Day every year. Various activities will be held on this day to show respect and care for the elderly.
Grandparents’ Day is also celebrated in Poland, but on two dates — Grandmother’s Day on January 21st, and Grandfather’s Day on January 22nd. On these days, young parents will bring their young children to their grandparents, so that they could spend more time together and develop closer bonds.
Japan is a country with a large portion of ageing population, therefore the country attaches great significance to the wellbeing of senior citizens. The Japanese celebrate “Respect for the Aged Day” on the third Monday of every September. On this day, physical check-ups will be held for the elderly, and the young will help the elderly with chores, send gifts to the elderly and so on. On this day, even stock markets will close, so that the young could put aside their work and go home to spend quality time with the elderly.
Although the dates and forms of the festival differ in different countries, they share the respect and care for the elderly. Nowadays, population aging is prevalent, so respecting and caring for the senior citizens has become natural for the whole society and for every household. It is also the embodiment of the inheritance and development of human civilization.
監 制：戴 凡
編 導：吳婧 白玥 孫磊 佟明月