Tuesday, October 31, 2006

We Are A Day Late...

...Or Is It Too Early!!!

Yesterday was the 9th day of the 9th lunar month (not to be mistakenly confused with the 15thday of the 8th lunar month ) so it’s Double Ninth Festival or 重九 (chong2jiu3) which means it’s autumn outing and mountain climbing!! But being westerners and not understanding a whole lot about these lunar months we went today instead (the only thing I got is that they have 2 birthdays which I’ll have to investigate… but not now, I have a few more months before my birthday!!!). So back to this post subject: Mountain Climbing.

Let's see what Wikipedia (when it’s not banned over here!) has to say: according to the I Ching*, nine is a yang number; the ninth day of the ninth lunar month (or double nine) has too much yang (a traditional Chinese spiritual concept) and is thus a potentially dangerous date. Hence, the day is also called "Double Yang Festival" or重阳节 (Chong2 Yang2 Jie2). To protect against the danger, it is customary to climb a high mountain, drink chrysanthemum wine […]

Why am I telling you all this (if I haven’t lost you already!) besides for your own culture and cocktail knowledge, well it’s because I wanted to let you know that I went to the Fragrant Hills or 香山红叶 (Xiang Shan Hong Ye) to see the change of the leaves color (a little bit like Vermont but on a different scale and much closer –at least for us!-). Since we went today we were a day too late for the protection against danger, but still there was a lot of people (no surprise here…we are in China!). However, as far as the color of the leaves go I think we were too early but hey that was a good outing and great exercise (those Chinese old guides do climb the mountains fast!!)

Photoshop can enhance anything!!

We even paid a visit to the Chairman !!!

(It said on the sign that he lived and worked here in 1949)

*also called "Book of Changes" or "Classic of Changes", it’s the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. In Western cultures, the I Ching is regarded by some as simply a system of divination; many believe it expresses the wisdom and philosophy of ancient China. (Whoa that’s a lot of information for 1 post!!)