Get out your wash basins for 9/9! Confucian tradition peeks out among Shanghai’s modern society in Jiangjin District ( 江津区) shimenzhen Fifth track and field (石门镇江津五中田径场) where300 students washed their parents feet in honor of the Double Ninth Festival (九九重阳节).
The Double Ninth Festival is a Chinese holiday where people pay respect to their elders. So what better way to show your appreciation for your parents than to wash their feet in a big field with 299 others under the professional guidance of an instructor. The school had previously given a vivid lesson on filial piety for 1200 student,s and then invited these 300 students to bring their washbins, towels, and hot water to wash the feet of their parents or grandparents. Many of the family members were moved to tears after the ordeal.
This type of event is rather popular with Chinese/Taiwanese culture. A record breaking foot-washing event took place in Taiwan earlier this year, with 3,742 mother/child pairs. Foot washing is a traditional method of filial piety, which is crucial in Confucian tradition.
Many schools feel that education in Chinese traditions and cultures have become just a mere formality, so they create these events, or give out foot-washing assignments to students as a hands-on way to truly understand what filial piety means. Reactions to these lessons are mixed, many think it’s archaic and a waste of time, but others think that it builds character, especially for all of China’s “little emperors.”
Either way, it’s something to think about over the holidays, and also a great inexpensive gift possibility! A thoughtful present is nice, but what’s better than a nice (scented?) foot bath/massage after a long hard day?
Photos from China News
By Angela Ye