Double Ninth Day: Spend Today in the Mountains or With Your Elders (Or Both)

While everybody is getting dressed up for the approximately 1,438 Halloween Parties this weekend, many Beijingers are celebrating a different holiday: Today is Chongyang Festival 重阳节 (chóngyáng jié) also known as Double Ninth Day 重九节 (chóng jiǔ jié).  In Chinese literature, the day is an autumnal coda to the year, a time for reflection and the appreciation of the temporary nature of beauty. Poets would write of leaves falling, flowers fading, and friends saying goodbye. In recent times, the holiday has become one of celebration, particularly of the elderly, and a chance for family outings, although the date once was also a cause for some concern.