With Valentine’s Day approaching, people around the world are getting ready, whether it’s buying flowers, cards or celebrating the famous ‘Valentine’s Day’. In China, however, things are a bit quieter. China also has its own Valentine’s Day. Did you know that the Chinese traditionally celebrate an incredible six Chinese Valentine’s Days each year, giving them many opportunities to express their love and devotion to their beloved? Let’s learn more about Chinese Valentine’s Day, and when is Chinese Valentine’s Day?
What Is Chinese Valentine’s Day?
Qixi Festival – also known as the Double Seventh Festival, or Chinese Valentine’s Day – falls annually on the seventh day of the seventh month on the lunar calendar, and for this year that day falls on August 4. While it’s not as commonly celebrated nowadays, the Qixi Festival has been observed for over 2,000 years and it dates back to a legendary romantic tale from the Han dynasty. If you missed out on Valentine’s Day in February and need to make it up to your partner, then keep finding out when is Chinese Valentine’s Day?
The History Of Chinese Valentine’s Day
The legend behind Chinese Valentine’s Day revolves around two star-crossed lovers, Zhi Nu, a weaver girl and daughter of a powerful goddess, and Niulang, a humble cowherd. For the two, it was love at first sight. Eventually, they got married and Zhi Nu gave birth to two children, a boy and a girl.
What Niu Lang didn’t know is that Zhi Nu is actually the seventh daughter of the Goddess of Heaven. Zhi Nu decided to visit earth to spend the day as a mortal and that was the day she fell in love with Niu Lang and they decided to spend the rest of their lives together.
However, when Zhi Nu’s mother discovered that her daughter married a mere mortal, she brought her back to heaven and casted a massive river between earth and heaven to separate the couple – which is now referred to as the Milky Way. Touched by the love between Zhi Nu and Niu Lang, the magpies on land flew up to heaven and helped the couple by forming a bridge across the river, allowing the two to reunite. Their love moved Zhi Nu’s mother, who eventually permitted the couple to meet once a year on that very same day, which is the seventh day of the seventh lunar month.
When Is Chinese Valentine’s Day 2023
When Is Chinese Valentine’s Day? Chinese Valentine’s Day falls on the 7th day of the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. In 2023, it’ll be celebrated on: Tuesday 22nd August. As you can see the date changes each calendar year – much the same as Chinese New Year!
How Is Qixi Celebrated In China?
The Chinese Valentine’s Day is a time for couples to express their love, which they usually do with an array of elaborate gifts and gestures. Like any romantic holiday, couples spend time together, enjoy a nice dinner, exchange gifts, go to the cinema, etc. Many customs and practices are associated with the Qixi Festival. Traditionally, it is a day when women dress up in Hanfu – traditional Chinese-clothing that has a long flowing robe with loose sleeves and a belt at the waist – and spend the day preparing offerings of tea, wine, flowers, and various fruits to pray to Zhi Nu for wisdom and to grant their wishes.
Qixi is a time to bake and eat 巧果 (qiǎoguǒ), a type of sweet pastry. This is because the character 巧 (qiǎo) in 巧果 sounds very similar to 桥 (qiáo), which means bridge, thus symbolizing the celestial Magpie Bridge! 巧 can also mean “skillful,” so by eating these little sweets women can become 心灵手巧 (xīnlíng shǒuqiǎo)—clever and skillful. Traditionally, women also pray to Zhinü for wisdom, a good husband, and a happy life.
Other Chinese Valentine’s Day Traditions?
Here is the list for China’s Valentine’s Days. They include occasions celebrated from ancient times up to the present. When is Chinese Valentine’s Day?
- Lantern or Yuanxiao Festival: (15th day of the Chinese New Year – February 8, 2020)
- Shangsi Festival: (3rd day of the third lunar month – March 26, 2020)
- White Valentine’s Day: (March 14, yearly)
- Wǔ-èr ling: (meaning five-two-zero – May 20, yearly)
- Qi Xi Festival: (7th of 7th lunar month – August 20, 2020)
- Single’s Day: (November 11, yearly)
- Chinese love their festivals and take every opportunity to celebrate. Most do not skimp out when it comes to remembering their beloved ones.
If you have a Chinese or Asian spouse, or you’re dating one, surprise and impress your beloved with your knowledge about Chinese Valentine’s Days and traditions.
Although the Qixi Festival is treated similarly to Valentine’s Day in the West, there are still many reasons why it should be celebrated. Rich in history and heritage, a festival is a valuable opportunity to reconnect with our cultural roots and another holiday for your partner to show how much they mean to you.
We hope that, through this article, you can better understand the tradition of Chinese Valentine’s Day. As well as knowing the history and when is Chinese Valentine’s Day. So whether you’re thinking of planning your next shopping spree or just showing some special love to your significant other, celebrate this day and keep the tradition alive. And if you need to find any gift for your love, you can visit our One Dress A Day website to find meaningful ideas.