February 2014 archive

The Legends of Valentine’s Day

chvdValentine’s Day in China

Chinese Valentine’s Day occurs on the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese Lunar calendar.  There are two legends surrounding the origins of Chinese Valentine’s Day. Both involve the position of the stars on the seventh day of the seventh month in the Chinese lunar calendar (August 2nd in 2014).

The first legend is a romantic fable about two lovers: the seventh daughter of the Goddess of Heaven and a simple cowherd. It was taboo for them to marry, but they did anyway and after a few years of marriage the mother goddess ordered her daughter back to heaven, but out of love she allowed the couple to meet up once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month.

In the second story, Niu Lang and Zhi Nu were fairies living on opposite sides of the Milky Way. Feeling sorry for the two lonely sprites, the Jade Emperor of Heaven actively tried to bring them together. Unfortunately, he succeeded too well – Niu Lang and Zhi Nu became so enraptured with each other that they neglected their work. Annoyed, the Jade Emperor decreed that from that point on, the couple could only meet once a year – on the seventh night of the seventh moon.

In modern times, people in China celebrate Valentine’s Day by releasing hung ming lanterns like in the picture below, and make good wishes of faithful love between them.1283077522499_hz-myalibaba-temp12_7896