Nowadays, Chinese celebrate two Valentine’s Day, Western Valentine’s Day on 14th Feb and Chinese Valentine’s Day on July 7 on Chinese lunar calendar.

Western Valentine’s Day

Western “情人节(qíngrénjié) Valentine’s Day” will falls on 14th of February. Nowadays, Chinese people also celebrate this special day in various ways.

Many young lovers go for a special Valentine’s Day dinner with lighting candles. People often float red, pink, and white helium-filled balloons or hang fresh flowers above their dining table. In addition, they like to create a romantic atmosphere with music wafting through the room.

“情人节电影(qíngrénjié diànyǐng) Valentine’s Day movies” are also very popular in China. Lovers go to cinema together to see a moving love story. Moreover, a lot of young Chinese people like to go to Karaoke to enjoy a romantic “情人节(qíngrénjié) Valentine’s Day.”

Chinese Valentine’s Day

The Double Seven Festival “七夕节 Qīxījié or Chinese Valentine’s Day” is on July 7 on lunar calendar every year. The Qixi Festival comes from the ancient story of Niulang and Zhinv:

A young cowherd named Niulang, came across seven fairy sisters bathing in a lake. Encouraged by his mischievous companion the ox, he stole their clothes and waited to see what would happen. The fairy sisters elected the youngest and most beautiful sister Zhinv to retrieve their clothing. She agreed to do so, but since Niulang had seen her naked, she agreed to his request for marriage. She proved to be a wonderful wife, and Niulang to be a good husband. They lived happily and had two children.

But the Goddess of Heaven found out that Zhinv, a fairy girl, had married a mere mortal. The Goddess was furious and ordered Zhinv to return to heaven. On Earth, Niulang was very upset that his wife had disappeared. Suddenly, his ox began to talk, telling him that if he killed it and put on its hide, he would be able to go up to Heaven to find his wife. Crying bitterly, he killed the ox, put on the skin, and carried his two beloved children off to Heaven to find Zhinv. The Goddess discovered this and was very angry. Taking out her hairpin, the Goddess scratched a wide river in the sky to separate the two lovers forever, thus forming the “银河 yínhé Milky Way” between Altair and Vega.

Chinese Valentine day

Zhinv must sit forever on one side of the river, sadly weaving on her loom, while Niulang watches her from afar and takes care of their two children.

But once a year all the magpies in the world would take pity on them and fly up into heaven to form a bridge (鹊桥, “the bridge of magpies”, Què qiáo) over the star Deneb in the Cygnus constellation so the lovers may be together for a single night, which is the seventh night of the seventh moon.

In the bygone days, Qixi was for girls and families. It is also known as the “乞巧节,qǐ qiǎo jiéPraying for Skills Festival” or “女儿节nǚ ér jié Daughters’ Festival”.

In the past, girls would conduct a ceremony to beg Zhinu (the most beautiful and skilled seamstress fairy) for wisdom, dexterity and a satisfying marriage in the future.

Nowadays, the Qixi Festival is also called Chinese Valentine’s Day. More and more young people celebrate it in the same way that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in western countries.

Key Learning Points:

Qíng rén jié kuài lè!
情 人 节 快 乐
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Qīxījié shì Zhōngguó zuì làngmàn de jiérì.
七夕节 是 中国 最 浪漫 的 节日。
Double Seven Festival is the most romantic festival in China.

Zhōngguó Qíngrénjié
中国       情人节
Chinese Valentine’s Day

Nǐ zhīdào Zhōngguó Qíngrénjié shì nǎ yì tiān ma?
A: 你 知道 中国 情人节 是 哪一 天 吗?
Do you know which day Chinese Valentine’s Day falls on?

Dāng rán, nónglì qī yuè qī rì ma!
B: 当 然,农历 七 月 七日 嘛!
Sure, the seventh day of the seventh lunar month!