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Celebrating age and wisdom

By Liu Zhihua | China Daily | Updated: 2012-10-24 09:18

Celebrating age and wisdom

Senior residents present a show of tai chi in Dongxiang county, Jiangxi province, to celebrate the Chongyang Festival. The age-old practice is considered one of the secrets of longevity. He Jianghua / for China Daily

On the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, Chinese celebrate Chongyang, a festival where filial piety and respect for the elderly are recognized. Liu Zhihua takes note to look at how the elderly in China live better and longer.

Aging is part of life. In China, where the philosophies of Confucius and Mencius prevailed for thousands of years, aging also means an increase in wisdom, rather than the absolute decline of body.

On the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, which fell on Tuesday this year, Chinese across the country celebrated the Chongyang Festival, that one day in the year that is specially reserved for the elderly.

For the Chinese, it means a day out with the family, climbing the hills, appreciating the seasonal chrysanthemums, drinking chrysanthemum wine and eating the cakes specially made for Chongyang.

It is a day dedicated to the old, who have always had a special place in Chinese culture and in modern China.

Apart from the respect and care owed to them from younger generations, the gray generation also draws benefits from the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which is not just about treating illness but, rather, is about the holistic approach of maintaining body, mind and spirit.

"The essence of TCM is to keep a balance within the body and between the body and mind, and then to achieve harmony with the outer world," says Wang Weigang, an experienced TCM practitioner with China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing.

"When such balance is achieved, people will not have physical or mental problems."

Wang goes on to give an example of how it works.

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