Chinese Valentine’s Day

Chinese Valentine’s Day is a holiday that’s observed in China on the seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar. This places this holiday somewhere around the middle of August on the Gregorian calendar. It’s a holiday that’s been celebrated for thousands of years, but it’s only an observance and isn’t an official public holiday in China.

The History Of Chinese Valentine’s Day

Chinese Valentine’s Day has been celebrated since the Han Dynasty during the third century B.C. It’s been traditionally observed with the Qixi Festival and its celebration is based on the myth of the cowherd and the weaver girl. According to the myth, Niulang was an orphan who stayed with his sister-in-law and brother. He had an unhappy life and was usually abused by his sister-in-law.

One day, his brother and sister-in-law kicked him out of the house and gave him only a cow as a consolation. The cow eventually spoke to him and told him that a fairy will visit him and that the fairy is the heavenly weaver. The fairy did come and when Niulang saw him, he instantly fell in love with her. He then married her and when the Jade Emperor (the Emperor of Heaven) found out, the emperor was extremely mad. The emperor was so mad, he sent his minions down to bring the weaver back to heaven.

Niulang heartbroken and dejected, decided to chase after them. Unfortunately, the Queen Mother of the West drew the Milky Way across the sky to block his path. Niulang and the weaver’s love moved the Emperor of Heaven, however, and he allowed the couple to meet on Magpie Bridge once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar. This would become the origin of the Qixi Festival.

Observing Chinese Valentine’s Day

Chinese Valentine’s Day is observed in a number of different ways, depending on where it’s celebrated. Traditionally, one of the ways that this holiday was celebrated by women showing off their dexterity by threading a needle under the moonlight, carving exotic flowers or animals, or carving unusual birds.

Another way that this holiday is observed by offering the Weaver Fairy, the star Vega, a table of treats. Treats that include wine, fruits, longans, nuts such as peanuts or hazelnuts, melon seeds, and tea. Another tradition, usually practiced in rural areas, is placing bunches of wildflowers on the horns of oxen to honor them.

Of course, many of the above-listed ways to celebrate this holiday are considered to be old-fashioned. Nowadays, this holiday is being increasingly celebrated in much the same way as American valentine’s day is celebrated. People give chocolates, flowers and other presents to their sweethearts.

Where is it celebrated?
China (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2023)
August 22 Tuesday
Next year (2024)
August 10 Saturday
Last year (2022)
August 4 Thursday