Similar to Ching Ming in the spring, Chung Yeung is traditionally a day for the family to go and respect their deceased ancestors. It’s also a day to hit the trail!
What: This is the second of the grave sweeping holidays, together with the Ching Ming Festival which is in the spring. Similar to Ching Ming, the Chung Yeung Festival is when entire families congregate at cemeteries to engage in the age-old practices of ancestor worship. Also known as known as Autumn Remembrance, on this day observers go to high ground, and so expect heavy usage of public transport – especially to the Peak! Extra services are often put in places to support the increased traffic.
When: The Chung Yeung Festival falls on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month – this year it falls on Tuesday, 23 October.
The Story Behind the Holiday: This festival is rooted in a Han dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) legend in which a soothsayer advised a man to take his family to high ground for the ninth day of the ninth moon. The man complied and the next day discovered that all the inhabitants of his village had been slaughtered, while he and his family had been spared by leaving for the hills. Thus, a custom of leaving one’s home and going off to a higher location continues today, with roads up to the Peak jammed by those following their ancestor’s example.
Fun Ways to Celebrate: But Chung Yeung is not all about solemn gestures – it is popular to hike to the city’s high points on this day in remembrance of an ancient Chinese family’s escape from plague and death by fleeing to a mountaintop. Why not get in on the tradition? Check out Sassy Mama’s top picks for super family-friendly hikes all around Hong Kong!