Alternate Chinese Valentines Day


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This evening my father put forward a question to me:

What's on the 14th of February?

Of course, having had my eye on this date for the past couple of weeks I readily replied ‘Valentines Day’ without too much hesitation. He frowned for a minute, before replying that yes, that was true, but it is also Chinese Valentines Day.

The only Chinese Valentines Day that I know of is the Qixi Festival, but that occurs on the seventh day of the seventh month, which is supposedly August 2 in 2014. My dad says that Chinese Valentines Day occurs on the 15th day of the first month however, which would be February 14 in 2014 as the first day of the month was January 31.

Searching this date, I discovered that what he appears to mean is that this date is the date of the ‘Chinese Lantern Festival’, a Full Moon Day with a Full Moon night and a special day and night for people in love. Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days with the Chinese Lantern Festival being the last day of Chinese New Year celebrations.

Perhaps because the story behind the real Chinese Valentines Day or Qixi Festival is not particularly a happy one, it seems some Chinese prefer to treat the Chinese Lantern Festival as Chinese Valentines Day instead. The festival was a great chance for girls that were usually kept indoors to get out of the house to look at lanterns and therefore meet the opposite gender.

Thanks to time zones though, whether the night has a full moon or near-full moon or whether the event is celebrated on the 15th or the 16th day can get quite confusing and convoluted. Most information sites cater to people in the US so I’ll leave it up for you to figure out. In the meanwhile though, this makes that date even more special, even just a little.