In many countries, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th; however, in Chinese culture, Valentine’s Day, also known as Qixi Festival, is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month each year of the lunar calendar. For 2019, the romantic day is 7 Aug.
Qixi Festival originated from a 2,000-year-old legend of two lovers, a cowherd, Niu Lang, and a weaver fairy from Heaven, Zhi Nu.
The story goes that Zhi Nu, the daughter of the Goddess of Heaven, fell in love with Niu Lang, a cow herder. They got married and had two children, but when Zhi Nu’s mother found out about the love affair, she got furious and separated the two with a river of stars that became the Milky Way. The couple’s cry deeply touched the magpies that thousands of them flew up into the sky and formed a bridge for the two lovers to walk over the river.
Eventually, Zhi Nu’s mother relented and agreed to let the couple reunite for one night on every Qixi with the help from the magpies.
How it is celebrated in Asia this year?
This year in Taiwan, a series of love-themed events are held across the country.
In Taipei, the Qixi celebration began on 3rd August evening with fireworks in the shape of the word “LOVE” and popular love songs played in the background. Many young couples and families with children sat on the lawn to enjoy the eight-minute fireworks show.
In the southern city of Kaohsiung, a carnival is organized along its Love River. As for the central west of Taiwan, Changhua, the skywalk of the Baguashan Mountain has been decorated with lights to attract couples.
Similarly in Mainland China, a weeklong celebration is located in the Yuanmingyuan Park in Beijing. The park is decorated with colorful umbrellas drawn by visitors.
Businesses have also taken advantage of the festival to promote sales through discounts, gift packages, and other bonuses.
In Hong Kong, Grey Hong Kong has created a campaign, focused on love relationships, called “Let’s Break Up” for Olay to celebrate this year’s Qixi .
The campaign is about ‘Jiefilian’ or ‘Big Sister Love,’ meaning the relationship between a younger man and an older woman.
Grey pointed out that such relationships are still not completely accepted by society and people involved, especially the women, often face a lot of pressure.
It said: “While attitudes are slow to change, Olay hopes to play a role to reinforce that if a woman is fearless of age, she is fearless to pursue a relationship which does not need to be affected by age.”
Many luxury brands also released a series of limited edition collection for the festival. Some collections include:
- Longchamp Hong Kong’s limited pink Qixi LGP collection
Only available in Hong Kong
- Gucci’s limited Sylvie mini-bag
- Dior’s DIORAMOUR collection
- Bvlgari’s Serpenti in Love collection
- Michael Kors’s graffiti collection
A capsule collection that features illustrations of star and heart motifs, as well as words like “XOXO,” “ LOVE,” and “KORR,” in shades of red, black, and pink.
- Strathberry’s East/West Mini
A small bag colored soft pink with small red hearts and golden Cupid arrows.
- YSL’s limited Qixi gift set