Chinese Valentine’s Day
Did you know that February 14th is not the only Valentine’s Day celebrated in the world? In China, this holiday is celebrated a little bit differently than in most places, and this Chinese Valentine’s Day is known as Qixi Festival. Here are 14 facts about Qixi Festival or Chinese Valentine’s Day that you may not know!
Read further to find out more about this amazing holiday!
Origins of the Chinese Valentine’s Day
1. Qixi Festival is known for different names such as the Qiqiao Festival, Double Seventh Festival, the Chinese Valentine’s Day, the Night of Sevens, or the Magpie Festival.
2. On the Chinese lunisolar calendar, the Chinese Valentines or QIxi festival is observed on the seventh day of the seventh lunisolar month.
3. Since the time of the Han Dynasty, the festival has been observed (206 BC – 220 AD).
4. Of all the traditional Chinese holidays, this one is considered as the most romantic.
5. The Chinese Valentines or the Qixi Festival originated from the legend of the cowherd and the weaver girl.
Here’s a snippet of their legend:
Niulang, an oxherd, married Zhinü, a fairy, who evolved into a weaver girl, with the aid of his ox (the downgraded cow god). Zhinü was brought back to heaven by his goddess mother. Niulang kept going while utilizing the ox’s hide. The goddess enabled magpies to build a bridge so they could cross the Milky Way, a river of stars, once a year (Qixi).
Traditions during the Chinese Valentine’s Day
6. Women traditionally dress in Hanfu, a type of traditional Chinese apparel that features a long, flowing robe with loose sleeves and a belt at the waist, on the day of Qixi Festival, also known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day.
7. Young men would pray for a wife with virtue while young women prayed for a nice spouse during the festival.
Modern practices during Chinese Valentine’s Day
8. Over the years, there have been many different ways to celebrate the Qixi Festival, especially with modernity and globalization taking place.
9. In some places, people used to light lanterns and place them on lakes and rivers to float.
10. Before lighting the lanterns, some people would write their dreams or desires on them and make wishes on them.
11. Poems about love would be written in various places, attached to willow branches, and hung around people’s dwellings.
12. Going outside to see the stars with your friends or significant other is one of the most well-liked tradition during the Qixi Festival.
13. Couples would also frequently make pilgrimages to temples honoring Zhinü and Niulang to offer prayers for a fulfilling and long-lasting union.
14. Along with the Chinese, people in other East Asian nations like Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan also celebrate the Qixi Festival.
Chinese Valentine’s Day
Now that you know a little more about Chinese Valentines, you might be inspired to celebrate it with your own loved one. Whether you exchange handmade gifts, enjoy a romantic dinner, or simply spend time together, taking the time to appreciate your relationship is always worth it.
And who knows? Maybe you’ll even find yourself falling in love with China’s rich culture and history. Thanks for reading!
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