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Shenzhen Festivals: Chongyang and Dragon Dance Festival

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Shenzhen is often referred to as “The City of Joy”, but many visitors only find enjoyment at the shopping outlets and theme parks. There are actually many festivals celebrating art and culture in Shenzhen throughout the year. This article looks at a couple of them – the Chongyang (Double 9) festival and the Longgang Dragon Art Dance festival.

Chongyang Festival
Chongyang festival is also called “The Double Ninth” festival as it falls on the 9th day of the 9th Lunar month

Origin of the Festival
In Chinese, the term for “9” (Jiu) is also used for “long” and “alcohol”. The Chinese word for cake is “Gao”, which is linked to the meaning “High”. This is used to symbolize progress and prosperity in work and daily life. So people like to drink Chrysanthemum wine and eat Chrysanthemum cakes to celebrate “Long Life” during this festival.

It seems a strange combination but the Chrysanthemum plant is often used as herbal medicine. People in ancient times believed it aided in detoxification, kept away evil spirits and chills in autumn. The combination also symbolizes “Yin and Yang”. The 9th day of the 9th lunar month is when two Yang numbers meet. “Chong” means “double” in Chinese, hence the name “Chong Yang Festival” was born.

The 9th day of the 9th month has also become a special day for people to pay their respects to the elderly and for the elderly to have a bit fun too. It is now officially recognized as China’s day for the Elderly.

Festival Activities
The festival falls in autumn around harvest time. It is a great time to celebrate the harvest and to also take advantage of the cool weather and enjoy some outdoor activities. Many people go hiking or mountain climbing to enjoy the autumn scenery before winter arrives. It is also considered lucky to climb a mountain as “Your luck will be elevated” for the coming year.

Chongyang Festival in Shenzhen
A good activity in Shenzhen is to climb Lianhua Mountain in the Futian district. The mountain park has beautiful gardens and many outdoor activities like ballroom dancing, kite flying and martial arts.

Longgang Dragon Dance Festival
Through martial arts movies and Chinese new Year Parades, dragon dancing has become world famous. Longgang is known as the “Town of the Dragon” and it was Longgang that created this unique and much-loved performing art.

Origin of the Festival
The dragon dance can be traced back to 300 years ago when the Hakka indigenous group first performed it. The tradition is carried on today by the Longgang Art society who perform the dragons dance, Kylin dance and the lion dance through the streets of Shenzhen.

Festival Activities
The festival is a great place to watch the athleticism of the dancers and eat Hakka food and snacks. There is even a dragon theme park (China’s First!)  in Longgang and many parks and gardens that celebrate the China’s beloved mascot.

When to go:
The festival takes place in accordance with the lunar calendar and the festival is held around “Chinese New Year” in the first lunar month. Longgang is a great place to visit all year round as there are 100 dragon dances organized through the Cultural Bureau of Longgang Town. You can call them on 0755-895555876 for further details.

 

For further reading:

Shenzhen Festivals: Mid-Autumn, Dragon Boat, and Grand Theater

Shenzhen Festivals: Qingming or Tomb Sweeping Day

Other Related Topics:

Champagne Cocktail Festival at Kempinski Hotel Shenzhen

Let’s Celebrate The Lantern Festival

Spring Festival Shopping Fair Brings Bargains to Shenzhen this January

 

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