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Chinese Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is the day to celebrate love and make that special person know all about your feelings. No wonder that people go all out to make the day special for their beloved and celebrate the occasion with vigor. However, unlike the usual celebrations associated with Valentine's Day celebrated on the 14th of February all over the world, the Chinese Valentine's Day is different. According to the Chinese calendar, the 7th day of the 7th lunar month is the time when Chinese Valentine's Day is celebrated all across the country. If you happen to be in Guangzhou during this Chinese Festival, don't miss the chance to experience the festivities from close quarters.

Chinese Valentine's Day is a story of two lovers. Their names were Niu Lang and Zhi Nu. He was a cowherd and she was a weaver. She was the seventh daughter of the Emperor of Heaven. She was the most beautiful one among her siblings. One day when the seven sisters were bathing in a lake, Niu saw them and being a mischievous man, he decided to steal all their clothes with the help of his ox and managed to take them away.

Though her six sisters returned, the seventh sister couldn't go without her fairy clothes. So, she decided to go to Niu and requested to return all clothes. Bowled over by her beauty, Niu asked her to be his wife. They got married, and had two kids but the Emperor of Heaven wasn't happy with what happened. He asked his daughter's grandmother to bring the girl back. The lady complied and separated the lovers.

However, moved by their true love, many of the magpies decided to form a bridge so that the couple could meet once a year on the day the Emperor allowed them - the day being the evening of the 7th lunar month's 7th day. Since then, people of China have been celebrating the festival. Like in the rest of China, people of Guangzhou also believe that if it rains on the night of the Chinese Valentine's Day, it means that the tears of the lovers are falling down in the form of rain droplets.

People all over Guangzhou and China celebrate this day in their own style. The Chinese Valentine's Day is also called the seven sisters festival or the festival of double sevens. To express their devotion to love in overcoming the hard times, some couples take part in sports. Those in love go to temples and pray for their loved ones, while the ones who are single ask for their partners at the matchmaker's temple.

Unlike Valentine's Day celebrations in the western countries, the people of Guangzhou don't putmuch emphasis on giving flowers and chocolates to their partners. Rather, girls prepare melons, fruits, and light incense as offerings to the weaving maiden - Zhi Nu, and pray to acquire high skills in needlecraft. When the star Vega is high on the sky, some girls do a test. They put a needle on the surface of water. If the needle does not sink, then the girl is considered to be smart enough and ready to find her husband. There is a belief that if on the Valentine's Day, Chinese people decorate ox with flowers, then it will protect and prevent them from disaster.

In the evening, many people sit outdoors to talk about the separated lovers and observe the stars. Chinese Valentine's Day is a tribute to the romantic lovers. So, be a part of the festival to celebrate love and get enthralled by the simplicity of it.

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