CGTN: Chongyang Festival: The Chinese legacy of filial piety

BEIJING, Oct. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Respecting and taking care of the elders, specifically one’s parents, is regarded as a legacy through China’s 5,000 years of civilization. The concept of filial piety goes back to 400 BC when it was mentioned in the early works by renowned ancient philosophers.

Chongyang, or Double Ninth Festival, is celebrated on the 9th day of the ninth month on lunar Chinese calendar, which falls on October 14 this year. It has long been a day for Chinese to show care and love to the elderly.

Busy working children would spend the day at home catching up with older relatives, with Chinese President Xi Jinping leading the way.

Xi, the filial son

Despite a tight schedule, Xi would take a walk with his mother, holding her hands, whenever he has time.

According to CMG, there are two photos on his bookshelf: one of him taking a walk alongside his father in a wheelchair and other family members, and another of him walking with his mother.

Deference to seniors has become one of Xi’s traits, not just to the elderly in his family, but the entire society at large.

Xi calls for respect for veterans

Back in 1984, Xi, then secretary of the Zhengding County Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in north China’s Hebei Province, wrote in an article that “young and middle-aged officials should respect the veterans in building a sincere relationship of cooperation, and thus work side by side and push forward the work of the Party.”

At that time, he called for more care for seniors. He emptied a meeting room and changed it to a recreation space for the elderly. In addition, he prioritized their hospitalization and solved many difficulties for seniors.

Throughout his political career, the Chinese president has always championed the cause of elderly care. Moments demonstrating his care and respect for the elderly are quite popular.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, Xi has given a series of instructions and adopted relevant plans and arrangements to develop the country’s elderly-care services and the pension system.

During his domestic inspections, Xi would regularly visit elderly care facilities to check if support policies have been well implemented and the residents are given proper care.

The development of an aged care system was included in the 13th Five-Year Plan and received 13.4 billion yuan (nearly $2 billion) from the central budget between 2015 and 2020.

During the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), China will further improve the infrastructure that helps support elderly care services and improve their quality. According to the plan, the country’s basic old-age insurance coverage will reach 95 percent by 2025, up from 90 percent in 2020.

According to the newly released China’s seventh population census, the country has 264 million people aged 60 and above and 191 million aged 65 and above, comprising 18.7 percent and 13.5 percent of the total population, respectively.