According to the lunar calendar, this Friday, August 17 is Chinese Valentines Day! Also known as the night of sevens. The city will be crowded and buzzing with people.
Take some time to show your sweetheart how much you love and appreciate them. Proclaim your love in something as simple as a letter. Reservations to your favourite restaurant, a gift of flowers or even a decadent box of luxurious silky smooth chocolates. Surprise your significant other with a special gift this Valentines Day.
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Qi Xi Festival
Qi Xi Festival traditions are very different from Valentines Day traditions and shouldn’t be confused.
During the festival, gifts are given and games are played to show off domestic skills like sewing. The Qi Xi festival has often been referred to as the young girls festival. In the evening girls will compete against each other sewing articles and preparing fruit to worship Zhi Nu, and pray for their one true love.
Depending on where you live in China the traditions will be slightly different. For example, In the South-West, the custom is to wash your hair with tree sap and paint your toenails.
In Southern China, the custom is to craft items out of paper and play games like threading the eye of a needle seven times. Traditional gifts given are pastries filled with delicious sweet fruit fillings.
The mythical tale that sparked the beginning of the Qi Xi festival is called “The Cowherd and the Weaver girl”. And can be dated as far back as 2600 years ago and has been celebrated since the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). The story is about two star-crossed lovers forever separated by the milky way except on the day of the Qi Xi Festival when they are allowed to cross over the magpie bridge to spend the day together.
The Qi Xi Festival is also the Inspiration behind Japan’s Tanabata Festival & Korea’s Chilseok Festival.
Other names for Chinese Valentines Day:
Double 7th Festival, The Magpie Festival, The Night of 7’s, and Qiqiao Festival
The date of the Qi Xi festival changes every year based on the Lunar Calendar.