Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thinking of My Brothers in Shandong on the Double Nine 九月九日憶山東兄

As a stranger alone in this strange land,

When there's a festival, I think often of my family.

I know from afar my brothers are climbing the heights,

All pinning on dogwood sprigs, less one man.

Wang Wei







* The Double Nine Festival occurred on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. The number nine in Taoism was associated with yang, the male principle, and so it was a masculine festival. A tradition was for men to climb to the heights and sun themselves, the sun being a yang element. It was considered to be good for one's health on the Double Nine to pin a sprig of the cornel dogwood (Cornelis officinalis) to one's gown.

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