Happy Valentine’s Day! 情人节快乐 (qíng rén jié kuài lè)!
To help you get in the mood, check out our YouTube Page and view our Valentine’s Day Playlist. We’ve added a couple of new videos that haven’t been posted on YouTube before!
February 14th is widely recognized around the world as the day to celebrate love. Its history can be traced back to Roman times in the 3rd century AD when St. Valentine was executed on this day (a rather tragic story that has turned to a celebration of love). Today the younger generations in China celebrate the Western Valentine’s Day like most of the world, but the Chinese had their own celebration of love before Cupid started making his rounds. The Qixi Festival or 七夕 is on the seventh night of the seventh lunar month (August 9th this year). Also known as Double Seventh Festival and the Seventh Night Festival, it can be traced all the way back 2000 years, to the Han Dynasty (BCE 206 – AD 220).
If you and your Significant Other are celebrating the traditional Valentine’s Day, you may give chocolates or flowers, but if you want to add a Chinese flare to your gift, choose a pair of Mandarin Ducks. You don’t have to adopt live ones as pets, find ceramic or carved accent pieces. A decorative pair placed in the home is said to enhance and attract love!
This year February 14th falls on the 10th day of the Chinese New Year celebration. Everyone is already celebrating in China, so they will continue their New Year’s Celebration. Don’t feel slighted if your Chinese Significant Other forgets to give you a Valentine’s Day gift. There are so many festivals and parties for the New Year, it’s easy to overlook this day. If you want to study lessons about the Chinese New Year, visit our YouTube and see the Chinese New Year playlist.
There’s one more day for lovers to look forward to – May 20th. The Chinese like to match dates or numbers with phrases that have similar pronunciation. 520 in Chinese is “five-two-zero” and sounds like “I love you. So 520 is pronounced wǔ èr líng has become a special day (May 20) because it sounds like “wǒ ài nǐ “ (I love you). Learn more about this newest holiday for lovers here.
Also be sure to check out this blog post on “How to Say I Love You” if you need to be prepared to profess your love to your date this week!
Not a fan of Valentine’s Day? Single? Don’t worry, the Chinese have a Single’s Day for you 11/11. Hang in there, your day will be here in November!
If you liked this blog post. Check out “Valentine’s Day Video Playlist,” “What Ducks have to do with Love,” and “6 Simple Ways Anyone Can Celebrate Chinese New Year.”