Culture Insider: Qixi - the Chinese Valentine's Day | 2017-08-28 09:59

Culture Insider: Qixi - the Chinese Valentine's Day

Actors perform a underwater wedding show at a marine park in Yantai, Shandong province, Aug 26, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

Tradition transformed

The love story of Niulang and Zhinu, and the Qixi Festival have been handed down for generations. Yet these ancient traditions and customs are slowly dying out.

Many modern Chinese, particularly youngsters, seem to know more about St Valentine's Day on February 14, characterized by bouquets of roses, chocolates and romantic candlelight dinners, than they do about their home-grown day for lovers.

Even Qixi is nowadays referred to as the "Chinese Valentine's Day." More and more young Chinese people begin to celebrate this day in a very similar way as that in western countries.

Fewer people than ever will gaze at the heavens on Saturday to pick out the two stars shining bright on either side of the Milky Way, that is, if people even know on which day Qixi falls.

There are ready reminders dotted about, in the form of big ads saying "Sales on Chinese Valentine's Day!" in shops, hotels and restaurants.

But few young women will mark the festival with their boyfriends, or take part in traditional activities to pray for cleverness.

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