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Valentine Day in Chinese Culture

The Valentine day in Chinese culture like other cultures is celebrated as the day of love. It is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month in the Chinese calendar.

The day is associated with the legend that the seventh daughter of the emperor of heaven "Zhi Nu" fell in love and married a poor orphan "Nui Lang"a cowherd. The lovers confined themselves to the world of their love. They start to neglect their duties of farming and weaving. This angered the Jade emperor who decides to give punishment to both the lovers. He exiles them to the opposite banks to the silver river.

They are permitted to meet each other once in a year on the night of the seventh day of the seventh month.

The tradition of celebrating the day depends on the different province of china. The common tradition is that young lovers visit the temples of matchmaker. They pray for love, happiness and wish for their marriage. People believe that decorating the horns of oxen with flowers will help them to prevent from great disaster. Women wash their hairs to look fresh and shining and pray for their love. The people gather in the evening to watch the stars. The aged women tell the youngsters that standing under the grapevine will let them hear the conversation of "Zhi nu" and "Nui Lang".

In Chinese culture, the celebration of the day is done in a grand manner. Young man and woman release lanterns of different colors and designs. River, lakes and ponds glitter with the lights of thousands of lanterns. The lanterns carry the wish of the young man and woman for a perfect marriage. The lotus lanterns in the water, lovers in the moonlight, sparkling stars in the sky and the lights of the lanterns makes the most romantic and beautiful scene on earth.

On the valentine day, lovers sit in the courtyard to watch the weaver girl (the Vega) and the cowherd (the altiar). The two stars, the Vega and altiar will face each other across the broad Milky Way. Girls pray to heaven facing the bright moon for a lover that can satisfy their heart desires.

The Chinese culture of celebrating the Valentine day is very different from the western culture. They do not give importance on giving flowers, chocolates and kisses. The girls prepare fruits, melons and offer prayers to "Zhi Nu", the weaving maiden. They pray to help them in acquiring high skill in needlecraft. They also hope to find a perfect husband for themselves. One belief associated with this festival is girls place the sewing needles on water, if the needle remains at the bottom of the water; it shows that the girl is intelligent and mature enough to find a husband.

The Chinese valentine day is observes as one of the important cultural festival of china. The celebration is deeply rooted with the cultural beliefs and traditions of china. It is a day of love, wish and merry making for the lovers and for those who hope to get love in their lives.

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