August 6th, 2011, the seventh day of the seventh lunar month on the Chinese calendar, it's a special day in China - the Chinese Valentine's Day.
Chinese Valentine's Day (also called Qixi Festival) is based on a romantic love stroy - Niulang and Zhinü (the cowherd and the weaver girl).
Zhinü was the seventh daughter of the Goddess, she escaped from the boring heaven and came across the young cowherd, they fell in love with each other and got married. They had two kids and lived happily together. Finally one day, the Goddess found out, she absolutely disallowed that her daughter Zhinü, a fairy girl, could married with a mortal on the earth. The Goddess ordered Zhinü to return to heaven and 'scratched' a wide river in the sky to separate the two lovers forever.
But once a year all the magpies in the world would take pity on them and fly up into heaven to build a bridge over that river, in that case the Niulang and Zhinü may cross the bridge and get together for just a single night, which is always seventh night of the seventh lunar month. As for that river is the Milky Way between Altair and Vega.
Qixi Festival originated from Han Dynasty (around 2,000 years ago), nowadays not every young people in China can retell this story, most of people will spend this day in Western ways, they go to western restaurant to have a romantic dinner, and the roses sell very well on that day.
Actually, we have our own romantic, in the Chinese way, as well as our charming history.
Last week, I attended a wedding of my friend Tonya, her husband is from Sweden, but they chose the Chinese traditonal wedding. I never seen this kind of wedding before except in films, most of morden Chinese would like to imitate the western style wedding, but it's only similar in shape, not in soul.
Chinese style wedding has a very complicated process, involves some interesting customs, such as 'rob' the bride, red envelopes, bride’s sedan chair, lion dances, Jiaobeijiu (the grooms and brite drink the wine from one another's glasses) etc.
Anyway, It's not easy to marry a Chinese woman.
Lion dancing, they play Kungfu
The bridegroom need to shoot three arrows on the wedding
Jiaobeijiu - very important activity on the wedding, the grooms and brite drink the wine from one another's glasses
Besides of the Chinese wedding, we have lots of interesting customs and festivals all the year round. If you tired of the modern city life, come to Chine to feel the charm of history. The Great wall and Hutongs in Beijing, Xi'an city wall and the Terra-Cotta Warriors, mysterious Loulan ruins in Xinjiang, and various Tibetan villages spread all over the western of China. Don't want to miss it? Take action now!