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6 taboos to avoid on Senior's Day in Taiwan

Double Ninth Festival, also known as Senior’s Day, takes place on Monday

106-year old man celebrated on Senior's Day in Taiwan. (CNA photo)

106-year old man celebrated on Senior's Day in Taiwan. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Double Ninth Festival, also known as Senior’s Day, takes place on Monday (Oct. 23), with traditions to follow to ensure the best fortune during harvest season.

Also known as Chongyang Festival (重陽節), celebrations can include flying kites, community get-togethers, chrysanthemum liquor, and outdoor activities. The festival also symbolizes gratitude for blessings bestowed by heaven and earth, per UDN.

To make the most of these blessings, a number of practices need to be followed during the festival, which is characterized by masculine or yang (陽) energy. The festival is also an opportunity to honor the elderly and celebrate long life.

Below are six taboos to avoid on Senior’s Day.

1. Avoid saying happy holiday.

The festival is about warding off evil spirits, and double yang (陽) energy can indicate bad luck. Therefore, it is inappropriate to wish others a "happy holiday" but rather safety and good health.

2. Refrain from sex.

On the Double Ninth Festival, nine is the last yang (陽) number, which is followed by 10, a yin (陰) number and traditionally a time when couples share the bed together. Therefore, by engaging in such activities a day early, it may be difficult for a couple to conceive children.

3. Avoid cooking

Also known as Senior’s Day, mothers should get a good rest on this day. It is advisable for many families to avoid cooking and use food delivery services so that hard-working mothers can relax.

4. Avoid sending chrysanthemums.

For the older generation, chrysanthemums are mainly used for mourning and funerals. Therefore, presenting the elderly with chrysanthemums on this day could lead to some misunderstandings. If you want to offer blessings, sending gladiola or other flowers, such as carnations, may be more appropriate.

5. Married daughters should wait three years before returning home for the festival.

Married daughters should wait a minimum of three years before returning home to celebrate Senior’s Day. Following this custom can help parents reach the ripe old age of 100.

6. Men should avoid talking about business and official matters.

The festival already has a lot of yang (陽) energy, so when two men get together to discuss business or other affairs, it can easily result in confrontation. Not only is it difficult to achieve agreement on this day, but such talk may also include unpleasant quarrels.