What´s the first thing which comes into your mind when thinking about Valentine´s day???
LOVE, ROSES, HEARTS, …. Sooooo romantic 🙂
But what do I have to expect in a very new environment and culture? Well let´s find out together…
Chinese people also celebrate Valentine’s Day on the 14th of February. So it´s basically the same ritual than in Germany and most other Western Countries. Still, they also have their own traditional day. Qixi Festival or the Seventh Eve is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh Lunar month – which is usually in August. The holiday comes from a traditional old story about a love tragedy that has been passed down from one generation to another.
Listen to this: It´s about the romantic love story of Niu Lang and Zhi Nu. Niu Lang was actually told by a cow, his only friend, to find his way to the beautiful Zhi Nu. The magical cow told him to make his way to the riverside where Zhi Nu (a young fairy) and her six sisters had a bath. He took one of the beautiful silk dresses of the girls and hid behind bushes. When they came out of the water the youngest couldn´t find her dress anymore. Then, Niu Lang came out with her beautiful dress and asked her to stay with him. Several years passed and the two still live happily together. From then on both of them meet on a bridge of magpies every year on the seventh eve. So raise your head, you will find romantic going on in the sky 🙂
Awwwwwww how sweet is that :)! The only question which came into my mind: How can she think that it is nice if a guy steels her clothes????
Anyways, the annual gift giving which is commonly associated with Valentine’s Day doesn’t take place in China. So to all of the foreign Girls which live in China – DO NOT WAIT FOR A ROSE, CHOCOLATE OR ANY OTHER GIFT! This will have a tragic end 🙂
But also in China there are several charming customs associated with this romantic day for lovers. On the Chinese Valentine’s Day, people in love like to go to the temple of Matchmaker and pray for their love and the possible marriage in China. So still there is lots of Love in the air 🙂 And the people which are still single will do the same thing but they will ask for their luck of love in the Matchmaker temple. And maybe they will even find another lonely person right next to them. You never know, right :)!!
On the seventh day of the 7th lunar month the Chinese people usually celebrate Qixi Festival. This is a Chinese festival that celebrates the annual meeting of a cowman and weaver girl in Chinese mythology. It is nowadays called the Chinese Valentine’s Day, too.
The earliest-known reference to this famous myth dates back over 2600 years ago, the festival originated from the romantic legend of two lovers, Zhinü and Niulang, who were the weaver maid and the cowman. Their love is forbidden, thus they were banished to opposite sides of the Silver River (Milky Way). Once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day.
Traditionally on the day young girls go to the local temple to pray to Zhinü for wisdom and true love. As in the ancient China marriage almost determines a woman’s course of life. Nowadays the Chinese girls don’t want to be dependent on their husbands anymore.
But the festival still maintains its good will for true love. It’s fair to call it Chinese Valentine’s Day. On this day couples usually go out to have dinner or see a movie.
However, there has been criticism that the festival has lost it’s roots and turning westernized and commercialized.
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Hi everyone, Max here. Ever wondered why so many bachelors in China were freaking out on 11.11? Did you know it’s a good idea to declare to the person you love on 5.20? Today we will explore the implications of those dates for young Chinese people.
Traditionally, Chinese people believe strongly in numerical superstitions. People always tend to make connections between the pronunciations of numbers and those of the words that sound similar or homophonic. 6 and 8 are two of the most common examples one can find in everyday Chinese life. 8 in Chinese is pronounced “ba”, which sounds pretty close to the pronunciation of the word rich, “fa”. Thus, 8 always means wealthy to Chinese people. 6 means good luck for Chinese people; however, the origin of its meaning is sort of different from that of 8’s meaning. It comes from a Chinese phrase, which, if translated into English, means two 6s make good luck. On the other hand, 4 is a typical bad luck superstition of Chinese people. 4 is pronounced as “si” in Chinese, which sounds almost the same to the pronunciation of the word death in Chinese.
Now that we have known the basic rules of how Chinese people attach meanings to numbers, we can start to explore the non-traditional “Internet Festivals” in China. One thing you need to know is that in China the date is expressed in the order of Year/Month/ Day. The most popular “Internet Festival” should be 11.11: 1 looks like a stick, and a stick in Chinese also means a person with no boyfriend or girlfriend. Now you can see that as four 1s get together, it must be an incredibly shameful day for those with neither lovers nor dates; not to mention 2011.11.11. Another popular festival now is May 20. It is the day of “I love you”, a new Valentine’s day. 5 (wu) sounds like the word I (wo) in Chinese, 2 (er) sounds like love (ai), and 0 (ling) sounds remotely like you (ni). Now you know that if you love someone and have no courage to say it to him/her, go for it on 5.20. What’s even crazier is that people broke the record of marriages on a single day on both 2012.12.12 and 2013.01.04. Why? Because the pronunciation of 1 (yao) is similar to that of the word want (yao), thus 2012.12.12 becomes “want to love, want to love, want to love.” Also, 1, 3 (yi san) sounds like for a life (yi sheng), and 1, 4 (yi si) sounds like forever (yi shi).
Nowadays, traditional numerical superstitions are getting further away from young Chinese people. Instead of attaching numbers to good luck or ominousness, young people start to create festivals that satisfy their emotional needs, such as love. In other words, they attach numbers with what they like but not what they fear, either to gain or to lose.