Anti-Valentine campaign gains power in China

Updated: 2011-02-15 15:53

By Yan Weijue (

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For most Valentine's Day is a time to express your feelings for a loved one, but an online campaign to sabotage the most romantic day of the year has been gaining momentum online.

Social networking sites, microblogs and BBS channels have been engulfed with a campaign for bachelors to resist the celebrations. Some netizens called on people to make false hotel bookings, reserve odd number seats in cinemas and even slap loving couples in the face.

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But while the actions may seem a bit extreme, one expert claims the requests shouldn't be taken seriously. "The reason they are doing it is just for fun, and venting their anger against couples."

One blogger who participated in the anti-Valentine thread shared the same opinion, admitting "it would be silly to put the tricks into practice."

But others clearly feel Feb 14 should not be an international celebration of love.

Two protestors pulled out an anti-Valentine's Day banner on a pedestrian street in Changsha, Hunan province on Feb 12, attracting passers-by as well as media coverage.

Anti-Valentine campaign gains power in China
Two protesters hold a banner on which it says "everybody is responsible for resisting the vulgar Valentine's Day" in street in Changsha, central Chian's Hunan province, Feb 12, 2011. [Photo/] 

"We are trying to send a wake-up call to those who over consume on western festivals," said one of the protesters. "The value of our own tradition is on the edge of disappearance while they spend money like water on meaningless occasions."

"Some people resent Valentine's Day. Because it has become a product." A professor with Yangzhou University said during an interview.

A fear for Valentine's Day also develops for those who are in relationships.

Tang Xiaolei, who works in a state-owned enterprise in Tianjin, complains: "A rose costs 15 yuan. I have to buy at least nine for my girlfriend ("nine" is a homophone for "lasting" in Chinese). With another hundreds of bucks on dinner, movie and gifts, I could be broke."

Anti-Valentine campaign gains power in China
A man holds a bouquet of 999 roses in Beijing, Feb 14, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua] 

But many don't mind splashing out when it comes to romancing their partner.

In Guangzhou, candlelight dinners have been booked out for weeks, orders of roses doubled, and customers had difficulties getting high-priced chocolates, which suffered a supply shortage. Retailers cash in on the golden time, and the harvest has been proved to be quite abundant. According, China's largest consumer-to-consumer website, 2.1 million roses were sold daily in the past week, up 110 percent year-on-year.

"Valentine's Day is nothing but a chance for the shoppers to be milked," a man scoffs at a billboard when asked what the day meant to him.


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