Qi Xi – The Chinese Valentine’s Day – 2009

Wed, Aug 26, 2009

2009, Official Logos

Qi Xi 2009

Qi Xi:

Pronounced “chee shuh”, the characters literally mean night of sevens. The festival takes place on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month (mid-August by our calendars) and has its root in an ancient legend about two lovers separated by the Milky Way who can only meet once a year on this night.

Is it Valentine’s Day in China?:

I’d say no. Saying “Valentine’s Day” conjures images of chocolates in big heart-shaped boxes, roses and all of those overdone Western accoutrements of love. Qi Xi, is not a big date night, you can have dinner in any restaurant and not be subjected to set menus “for lovers”. Qi Xi goes by nowadays with few traditional celebrations.

Qi Xi Traditions:

Nowadays, young people might go to a temple to pray for help finding a good mate, but for the most part, the festival goes by without much traditional celebration. In the past, girls might have prayed to the gods for their handicraft skills to become better (as the princess was a weaver) and pray to the princess for beauty. Young women would traditionally wash their hair on the night of the seventh day of the seventh lunar month in a rite of beauty.

Young people prefer to celebrate their youthful ardor with the increasingly popular Western Valentine’s Day on February 14th.

When is Qi Xi?:

Not following a Chinese Lunar Calendar at home? Here’s when the seventh day of the seventh month takes place:
2008: 08-07
2009: 08-26
2010: 08-16
2011: 08-06
2012: 08-23
2013: 08-13
2014: 08-02
2015: 08-20
2016: 08-09

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