When the snakes sleep
The shore is far, the water deep, the boat can easily sink
The road is long, the mountains difficult to walk
When the snakes sleep you can get through and across in a day
The moon high in heaven is especially bright.
Shéān, 'snake quiet' season
because in winter they cannot sunbathe on warm rocks to raise their body temperature. They find a hiding place where they can maintain their body temperature.
They slow their metabolism and their heart, so they hardly use energy. In China their hibernation time is called shéān, 'snake quiet'. In that time the mountain paths are free of snakes.
The disappearance of the snakes is around the same time as the celebration of the Double Ninth Festival
At the Double Ninth Festival (Chung Yeung Festival, the Festival of High Places or Autumn Remembrance) on the 9th day of the 9th month, many Chinese visit the graves of their ancestors to pay their respects. Whole extended families head to ancestral graves to clean them and repaint inscriptions, and to lay out food offerings and burn incense sticks.
The Double Ninth Festival , is a traditional Chinese holiday, mentioned in writing since before the East Han period (before AD 25).
Once there was a man named Heng Jing, who believed that a monster would bring pestilence. He told his countrymen to hide on a hill while he went to defeat the monster. Later, people celebrated Heng Jing's defeat of the monster on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month.
Double Ninth may have originated as a day to drive away danger, but like the Chinese New Year, over time it became a day of celebration. In contemporary times it is an occasion for hiking.
To protect against danger, it is customary to climb a high mountain, drink chrysanthemum liquor, and wear the Zhuyu plant..