Mastering Chinese Poetry Ep. 5: Thinking of My Brothers on Mountain-Climbing Day

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the ninth day of the ninth month is a traditional Chinese holiday called the Double Ninth Festival, or Chongyang Festival. In ancient times, Chinese would hold activities to memorialize their ancestors on this day, such as ascending a height, usually a mountain or a tower, drinking chrysanthemum wine and carrying dogwood on their heads. Legend has it that by doing these things, people can avoid disasters.

Ancient literary figures have left many poems depicting this festival. One of the most famous poems is called "Thinking of My Brothers on Mountain-Climbing Day," written by Tang Dynasty poet Wang Wei when he was far away from home and felt nostalgic on this family gathering day.