While the rest of the world celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14, China has its own version with the Qixi Festival, which falls on 14 August this year. The reason why? A legendary romantic tale that has endured for thousands of years.
The legend of Qixi
The Qixi Festival is born from a tale of star-crossed lovers. The festival originates from the forbidden romance of the goddess Zhinü and the humble farm boy Niulang. Separated in the night sky by the Milky Way, the two lovers are allowed to meet only once a year across a bridge of magpies on the evening of the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.
Why celebrate Qixi in Singapore
The Chinese used to observe more traditional customs for Qixi. These popular traditions involved women, usually in the evening on Qixi, showing their dexterity skills by speedily threading a needle under the moonlight. Young women also carved exotic flowers, animals, and unusual birds, usually on melon skin.
Other customs involved women worshipping Zhinü (the weaver fairy) by preparing a table of offerings: tea, wine, fruits, red dates, hazelnuts, peanuts, and melon seeds. In the evening, young women sat around the table, displaying their needlework, gazing at Vega (the second-brightest star in the northern hemisphere) and praying for a good husband and a happy life. Then they would play games or read poems until midnight.
These days, couples in China celebrate this special occasion by going on dinner dates and exchanging flowers and cards.
But wherever we may come from, there is always a reason to celebrate the love you share with your partner. And what could be more romantic than a surprise bouquet for your sweetheart?
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