You may be wondering what Chinese Valentine’s day has to do with the number 520. Well, firstly 520 represents the date in which this holiday is celebrated, 20th of May. Secondly, when you pronounce 5-2-0 in Chinese (wǔ èr líng), it can sound like wǒ ài nǐ which means “I love you.”
In other words, 520 is a slang word used online for saying “I love you” in Chinese. With that in mind, we will present you ten things that you should know about this lovely holiday.
- Ten things you should know about Chinese Valentine’s Day:
- The Chinese Valentine’s Day is also known as Qixi Festival or Qiqiao Festival. It is also called the Double Seventh Festival.
- Women that are married pray to become pregnant on this festival while single women pray to find a good husband. Also, young girls test their embroidery skills by trowing a sewing needle into a bowl of water. This happens on the evening of the festival. If that needle float to the top, that means that those girls are skilled at embroidering.
The girls also pray for happiness and worship the god of the weaver, Qijie.
- The legend of a cowherd and a weaver girl, a romantic love story is the origin of the Qiqiao Festival. Every Chinese knows of this story. The cowherd named Niu Lang fell in love with the weaver girl (a fairy from heaven) Zhi Nu.
Their love was not allowed, and they were banished to the opposite sides of the Milky way or Silver River. The Queen Mother in heaven decided that they could only meet every year on the 7th of the 7th lunar month when a bridge made of magpies will reunite them. That is why Qi Xi means double seventh.
- Scholars have found that the Chinese Valentine’s Day also known as the Double Seventh Festival originated from 207 BC to 220 AD, in other words, from Han Dynasty.
- In some cities, Chinese people decorate an ox’s horn with flowers on this holiday. They believe that doing so will prevent any disaster to strike their family.
- Children will wash their face with water found in their back garden to give them a natural beauty while women will wash their hair so that they will look fresh.
- During the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, five color ropes are made. These ropes are thrown on the roof of the house by young girls for the Magpies.
- This festival inspired other festivals around the world like That Tich Festival in Vietnam, Tanabata Festival in Japan and Chilseok Festival in Korea.
- The traditions of this holiday vary for young women across China. Some may paint their toenails while others wash their hair with tree sap.
- The weaver girl is represented by the star Vega, the fifth largest star in the sky, larger sixteen times than the Sun.
Other things you should know about this festival:
Like any other Valentine’s Day type of holiday, both men and women have to buy gifts for their loved ones. For men, girls should look out for a good tie, a nice looking watch, a shaver or a lighter. Some may even prefer a bottle of wine, whiskey or other sorts of alcoholic beverages. When it comes to gifts, if it can be used, then it’s a great one.
For women, a box of chocolate can do the trick. Flowers, especially red roses are a must, no questions asked. Jewelry is also a popular gift, but it should be reserved for serious couples who are looking to spend their life together. A romantic night out is also a great gift, but even so, you can’t skip out on a box of chocolate and red roses.
Another thing you should know is: if you happen to be in China when this holiday happens, just remember, it’s not like Valentine’s Day. By that we mean, this is a festival, which means that a lot of traditions and events will happen during this period. So, to take full advantage of this festival, go out and partake in it.
If you want to show someone your love, buy them some 520 Chinese Valentine’s Flowers along with a box of chocolate. You can never go wrong with chocolate, unless your man doesn’t like chocolate. In that case buy him a tie or wallet and let him chew on that.