Lung Po Shan Chinese Memorial Gardens is committed to assisting Sydney’s Chinese community to celebrate the Chung Yeung or Chinese Double Ninth Festival each year.
The festival takes place on the ninth day of the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar. This day is called “double nine” which traditionally was when residents were warned to evacuate to high mountains to avoid attacks from enemy or sickness. In the old days they would bring food, fruit, drink Chrysanthemum wine, and wear the Zhuyu plant. Both Chrysanthemum and Zhuyu are considered to have cleansing qualities.
Chung Yeung is a wonderful day for a family outing to Lung Po Shan Chinese Memorial Gardens, to worship the ancestors and place wishes on the wishing tree. During this time each family will have the opportunities to write their own wish words or to pick one from the lucky list and then cast towards the wishing tree.
The date usually falls towards the end of September or early October in the Australian calendar.
Eventually this Double-9 activity became an occasion for the whole family to take a long journey to worship their ancestors, a traditional custom of ancestral veneration and the belief that offerings should be made to them to provide for their needs in the afterlife.
In China and Hong Kong, Chung Yeung is a public holiday, with extended families heading to ancestral graves to clean them and repaint their inscriptions, and to lay out food offerings for their ancestors.
Lung Po Shan is glad to see this tradition carried on in Australia, with Chinese families bringing their younger generations to Lung Po Shan Memorial Gardens. They come with roast suckling pig, boiled chicken, fresh flowers, and incense to worship their ancestors, and we can see a lot of familiar faces year after years.
Special features at our Chung Yeung celebrations have included a Wishing Tree, dove releases, lion and dragon dances, joss sticks, the burning of offerings, blessings from Buddhist monks and other cultural activities. The celebrations are topped off with great food and music. Lung Po Shan also arranges for a free coach service to and from Strathfield train station to help make attending the festival easier.
Chung Yeung is an ancient Chinese holiday which is more than 2,000 years old. Each year families visit their loved ones’ graves to perform cleansing rituals and pay their respects.
Special guests are often in attendance, including local, state and federal politicians as well as leading members of the Chinese community.
Lung Po Shan is a tranquil oasis where families can celebrate the lives of their ancestors while undertaking traditional Chung Yeung pastimes such as burning joss sticks and offerings of paper money.