Interesting (and fun) Chinese Poem for Festival

Interesting Chinese poem for festival

“A lonely stranger in a strange land I am cast, I miss my family all the more on every festive day.

——Wang Wei 王维

It is a poem expressing longing for families, and even more especially on festival days, and was taught to pupils in the primary schools in China.

The Chinese are a very humorous nation and delight in giving things an amusing twist – this poem humorously reinterpreted to make fun of themselves:

I weigh even more every festival – 1.5 kilos each time!

I weigh even more every festival – 1.5 kilos each time!

Making light of the fact that there is so much tempting food to eat and enjoy during festivals and you end up gaining weight after a long festival holiday.

Here is the full version of the original poem (with pinyin and English traslation)just in case you wonder:


jǐu yuè jǐu rì yì shān dōng xiōng dì

(Thinking of My Brothers at Shangdong On Double Ninth Festival)


zuò zhě: wáng wéi

(Author: Wang Wei)


dú zài yì xiāng wéi yì kè,

(A lonely stranger in a strange land I am cast,)


méi féng jiā jié bèi sī qīn.

(I miss my family all the more on every festive day.)


yáo zhī xiōng dì dēng gāo chù,

(Knowing my brothers afar are all wearing cornel and climbing the mountain (for celebration), )


biàn chā zhū yǘ shǎo yī rén.

(but sadly without me.)

2 thoughts on “Interesting (and fun) Chinese Poem for Festival

  1. It’s Ok, but i want to offer another translation by Xu Yuanchong, a famous Chinese translator:

    Alone, a lonely stranger in a foreign land,

    I doubly pine for kinsfolk on a holiday.

    I know my brothers would, with dogwood spray in hand,

    Climb up mountain and miss me so far away.

    —— Tr. by X. Y. Z. (许渊冲)
    Later i will add more things about this festival ,the influence of the poem and the story of Wang wei, the poet himself.

  2. Double Ninth Festival (Chong Yang Festival)
    One of the four ancestor-worship festivals in China(including Qingming Festival(or Tomb Sweeping Day),New Year’s Eve(Chu Xi),Obon Festival(after coming to China, this festival was actually called Zhong Yuan Festival in Dao))

    In lunar calendar,it lies on ninth Sept.
    In Yijing(a magical, mysterious,famous traditional Chinese book of Ru),number nine means ‘Yang’.
    99 means double yang ( ‘Chong yang’)
    Number 9 sounds like ‘long’ in China , so it is a festival for the old.
    Offering sacrafice to ancester , going back to home to visit your relatives and old people, drinking chrysanthemum tea ,wearing cornel dogwood,climbing upon the mountain are all traditional activities of it.
    It has a history more than 4000 years .
    In an ancient Chinese book ‘Lv Shi Chun qiu’
    some traditional activities of it had been written.
    During Han dynasty, the festival became famous all over China. And during Tang dynasty, the festival became one of the most important festivals.

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