This paper argues that Wu Zhao's reimagined Double Ninth (Chongyang) Festival on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month emphasized a number of Daoist elements—including circumpolar sovereignty, divine kingship, longevity, and lofty venues that placed her in proximity of divinities and immortals—geared toward enhancing her religious and political authority. China's first and only female emperor inaugurated her Zhou dynasty (690-705) on the Double Ninth and celebrated personal triumphs on this same date five times between 690 and 697. The paper claims that this novel iteration of the Double Ninth helped link Wu Zhao to several circumpolar goddesses. Finally, the performances of the Double Ninth Festival, this paper contends, may represent a prototype of the later Festival of Nine Sovereigns.


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pp. 55-98
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