九 (Jiǔ) is a special number in Chinese culture and its pronunciation is the same as 久 (Jiǔ), which means a long length of time or longevity of life. Therefore the ninth day of the ninth lunar month 重九节 (Chóng jiǔ jié) is an extra special day that is also known as 老人节 (Lǎorén jié ) or Senior Citizens Day because people want to wish their elderly long and prosperous lives. Traditions include climbing to the top of a mountain or drinking chrysanthemum wine to help cure diseases and protect against disaster. There is a famous poem by 王维 (Wáng Wéi) about the Double Ninth Festival: "Thinking Of My Brothers On Mountain-climbing Day". There are many videos on Youtube about the story behind the poem also.
独在异乡为异客, (dú zài yì xiāng wéi yì kè) 每逢佳节倍思亲。 (měi féng jiā jié bèi sī qīn) 遥知兄弟登高处, (yáo zhī xiōng dì dēng gāo chù) 遍插茱萸少一人。 (biàn chā zhū yú shǎo yì rén) Alone, a lonely stranger in a foreign land, I doubly pine for my kinsfolk on holiday. I know my brothers would, with dogwood spray in hand, Climb up the mountain and miss me so far away.
Don't forget to call your elders to say hi and express how much you love them! (For more information on the Double Ninth Festival and other Chinese Festivals, check out our storybooks!)

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