Apart from the White Day and Western Valentine’s Day, there’s another love-filled occasion in China called Qixi, or Chinese Valentine’s Day. Surprisingly, Qixi wasn’t always linked to February 14. Let’s delve into the Qixi customs, the eight taboos to avoid, the art of gift-giving among different pairs, and the timeless, romantically rich celebration that beautifully reflects oriental traditions.
- The Origin and Meaning of Chinese Valentine’s Day
- A total of 14 Valentine’s Day dates in Taiwan for 2023
- 5 Customs of Chinese Valentine’s Day
- 8 Taboos for Chinese Valentine’s Day
- Advisable to Avoid Breakups on the Qixi
- Steer Clear of Beef Consumption
- Steer Clear of Clothing Holes
- Avoid Bed Relocation
- Avoid Scolding Children
- Paying Homage to the Bedmother on Qixi
- Avoid Offering Fish, Wine, Green Vegetables, Chopsticks, and Melon Seeds in Worship
- Refrain from Placing Dolls on the Bed
The Origin and Meaning of Chinese Valentine’s Day
Qixi, also recognized as the Star Festival, the Cowgirl Festival, and the Birthday of the Seven Sisters, carries diverse appellations. In antiquity, Qixi wasn’t synonymous with Valentine’s Day; rather, it was a day where ancient women beseeched for wisdom. In times of old, women would fervently pray for mastery in craftsmanship on Qixi, with the aspiration of encountering their ideal companions. At the heart of Qixi’s allure lies the famed saga of “The Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden,” a profoundly romantic narrative. The tale of these star-crossed lovers, united only once annually at the Magpie Bridge on the seventh day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar, has propelled Qixi to its present eminence as the Oriental Valentine’s Day.
A total of 14 Valentine’s Day dates in Taiwan for 2023
What is the date of “Chinese Valentine’s Day”?
Unlike the Western Valentine’s Day, which falls on a fixed date according to the Gregorian calendar, Qixi is observed on the seventh day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar. This means that the date of Qixi shifts each year based on the lunar calendar. To determine the specific day of Qixi, you can consult the Lunar Calendar.
Familiar Valentine’s Day Dates in Taiwan
Valentine’s Day 2023 / 2 / 14 (Tue)
2/14, Valentine’s Day, is an international holiday with diverse origins. It holds a prominent spot in Taiwan as the most favored Valentine’s Day, infusing the streets with a profusion of romantic vibes. Should you wish to avoid celebrating on weekdays, the preceding weekend becomes a suitable alternative. Couples engage in gift exchanges and embark on unique outings, while singles take the opportunity to express their affection for their cherished individuals.
White Valentine’s Day 2023 / 3 / 14 (Tue)
Valentine’s Day traces its origins to Japan. In this country, a person eager to convey their affection to a woman customarily presents a gift on February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Subsequently, the recipient reciprocates by offering a gift on March 14th, thereby revealing their sentiments. Yet, the landscape has evolved with the rise of instantaneous communication. Waiting a full month to express one’s intentions may no longer be obligatory. Nowadays, this day could be embraced as a one-month relationship milestone—an equally fitting choice!
Chinese Valentine’s Day 2023 / 8 / 22 (Tue)
Qixi serves as Taiwan’s version of Valentine’s Day, woven with a romantic legend where the Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden reunite annually. Couples entwined in love yet separated by distance often draw parallels to this mythical duo. On Qixi, they exchange gifts to convey the depth of their yearning and affection, akin to the Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden’s eternal bond.
Unfamiliar Valentine’s Day Dates You Might Not Know About
Diary Valentine’s Day 2023 / 1 /14 (Sat)
During this occasion, couples have the chance to exchange a year-long love journal, symbolizing a commitment to cherish each other’s companionship throughout the upcoming 365 days.
Black Valentine’s Day 2023 / 4 / 14 (Fri)
On Black Valentine’s Day, people dress in all-black attire, enjoy meals of the same dark hue, and even savor cups of pitch-black coffee. This unique Valentine’s Day is designed for those who are single, as unattached men and women come together to celebrate their solo status.
Yellow and Roses Valentine’s Day 2023 / 5 / 14 (Sun)
May 14th is also recognized as Rose Valentine’s Day, as numerous couples opt for a leisurely stroll outdoors. This choice stems from May being the month of blooming roses and featuring delightful weather, making it an ideal time for romantic outings.
Kissing Valentine’s Day 2023 / 6 / 14 (Wed)
The fourth Valentine’s Day of the year, often referred to as Kissing Valentine’s Day, falls on June 14th. This celebration comes right after the traditional Western Valentine’s Day and holds immense importance for couples. It provides a special opportunity for lovers to convey their emotions to each other through a heartfelt kiss.
Silver Sex Mania 2023 / 7 / 14 (Fri)
Referred to as Silver Day, this occasion holds the tradition of introducing your beloved to your parents or esteemed elders. Moreover, it’s a day where couples engage in gift exchanges, often involving silver jewelry.
Green Sex Festival 2023 / 8 / 14 (Mon)
Originating from Eastern Europe’s Czech Republic and Slovakia, the festival seeks to propagate the delight of sustainable living and environmental conservation. The objective of the Green Sex Festival is to inspire couples to embrace nature and celebrate their affection amidst the vast outdoors.
Music and Photo Valentine’s Day 2023 / 9 / 14 (Thu)
On Valentine’s Day, individuals arrange music festivals and introduce their partners to friends and colleagues. This occasion is sometimes referred to as “Photo Valentine’s Day” due to the abundance of couples capturing images of themselves against the sky.
Wine Valentine’s Day 2023 / 10 / 14 (Sat)
During this day, couples relish wine while soaking in the enchanting fall ambiance. Numerous pairs choose to engage in conversations about their future aspirations and shared goals, often during a splendid dinner at a romantic, upscale restaurant.
Orange and Movie Valentine’s Day 2023 / 11 / 14 (Tue)
On this day, those in relationships often gather to watch movies and cozy up in softly lit theaters. Singles might opt for orange juice to suit the occasion, though having company, even if not romantically involved, can also brighten one’s spirits.
Valentine’s Day with Hugs 2022 / 12 / 14 (Wed)
During Valentine’s Day in Korea, you have the liberty to hold your partner in your arms as long as you wish, openly declaring your affection to the world and contributing to the warmth of the wintry air. As the year draws to a close, it remains a significant period for couples, especially for those who celebrated Western Valentine’s Day on February 14th. Giving passionate hugs becomes a testament to their enduring love for each other.
Internet Valentine’s Day 2022 / 5 / 20 (Fri) & 5/21 (Sat)
Annually, this day is often denoted as “520” and “521,” corresponding to the numbers that symbolize “I do” and “I love you,” which are 520 and 521, respectively. Numerous couples in Taiwan choose these days to officially tie the knot and pledge a lifelong commitment to each other. These occasions also serve as fitting moments for individuals harboring clandestine affection to openly express their love.
5 Customs of Chinese Valentine’s Day
Apart from seeking blessings for a harmonious marriage, there exist additional customs aimed at attracting good fortune. These encompass partaking in flirtatious fruits and venerating the Kuixing star. So, let’s delve into the lesser-known traditions you might not be familiar with!
Honoring the Seven Star Goddess
The initial tradition of the Tanabata Festival revolves around worshiping the Seven Star Goddess. Rooted in the legend of the Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden, this custom holds a poignant narrative. The Weaving Maiden’s sisters, revered as the “Seven Star Goddess,” are regarded as protectors of children. Paying homage to the Seven Star Goddess takes various forms, from attending temple ceremonies to establishing incense burners at home. Regardless of the approach, essential elements include preparing dishes like sesame oil chicken and sesame oil rice, along with toiletries.
This practice, prevalent in southern Taiwan, marks a significant milestone for the Minnan community. When a child reaches the age of 16, they create a dedicated shrine on the evening of the seventh day of the seventh month to express gratitude to the Seven Mothers for their bestowed blessings.
Needle Hanging and Craft Seeking
This activity derives its roots from the legend of the Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden, serving as a representation of beseeching the Weaving Maiden for creativity. On the eve of the seventh day of the seventh month, at noon, a pot of water is placed under the sun, and needles are dropped into it. If the reflected image resembles a flower or a small creature, it signifies a successful “request.” Conversely, if the reflection doesn’t align, it doesn’t imply a loss of intellect. Therefore, we can view this as an enjoyable custom for the occasion, free from excessive superstitions!
“Qiaojiao,” also referred to as “Seven Qiaojiao Fruits,” is a cherished traditional treat composed of flour, sugar, and sesame seeds. These confections, often circular and adorned with charming patterns, encapsulate the essence of craftsmanship and culinary delight.
The seventh day of the seventh lunar month carries significance beyond Valentine’s Day—it marks the birthday of Kui Xing Ye, the deity entrusted with overseeing education and examinations. On this day, many individuals offer reverence to “Kui Xing Ye,” utilizing a worship approach akin to that of Emperor Wen Chang. Offerings like buns (包子), pastries (糕點), and rice dumplings (粽子) are presented. Four specific fruits—tangerines, pears, kumquats, and apples—are also associated with “Gan Lai Kou” (甘來結), adding a layer of symbolic meaning to the act of worship.
8 Taboos for Chinese Valentine’s Day
Advisable to Avoid Breakups on the Qixi
The Ghost Month of July, especially the 7th day, is an exceptionally yin time. If you decide to end a relationship on the evening of this day, it’s believed that it can bring about future unhappiness. Moreover, there’s a belief that such an action might hinder the blessings from the Cowherd and the Weaveress.
Steer Clear of Beef Consumption
Given the Cowherd’s historical association with tending to cows, it’s advisable to minimize beef consumption during your Tanabata meal. Overindulging in beef might unintentionally offend the Cowherd, possibly leading to disagreements or conflicts between lovers. If you happen to consume beef, you can mitigate the situation by performing good deeds or engaging in acts of merit afterwards.
Steer Clear of Clothing Holes
Since weavers were skilled at creating fabric, wearing clothes with holes can symbolize potential imperfections in your relationship. It’s believed that such flaws could lead to irreparable cracks in the future, possibly resulting in the end of the relationship.
Avoid Bed Relocation
On QIxi, refraining from moving a child’s bed is recommended. This action could potentially disturb the “mother” of the bed, leading to a diminished strength of the child’s blessings.
Avoid Scolding Children
As the eve of the 7th day of the 7th lunar month approaches, it’s wise to abstain from scolding children. The “bed mother” is believed to visit during this time, and scolding children could potentially anger her.
Paying Homage to the Bedmother on Qixi
When it comes to worshiping the Bedmother after 4:00 PM, opt for a time slot between 4:00 PM and 6:30 PM. As the Bedmother is a blend of both yin and yang energies, it’s advisable to conduct the worship in the evening. This approach aims to ensure that children can enjoy a serene night’s rest.
Avoid Offering Fish, Wine, Green Vegetables, Chopsticks, and Melon Seeds in Worship
Certain items, such as fish, wine, green vegetables, chopsticks, and melon seeds, should be excluded from worship. Fish is best avoided as the bed mother does not handle thorns; wine should be omitted because the bed mother doesn’t attend to children when intoxicated. Green vegetables carry a connotation, while chopsticks have a negative association of being used for discipline. Similarly, melon seeds, suggesting reading by the bed mother, should be excluded from offerings.
Refrain from Placing Dolls on the Bed
It’s advised not to place dolls on the bed on the eve of Tanabata. According to belief, the bed mother visits during this time and might take away the dolls, symbolizing the “fake children.”