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【Learn Chinese】Chinese Valentines Day: How Many Are There
China loves their Chinese festivals, such as Chinese New Year and Tomb Sweeping Festival, and it doesn’t skimp out when it comes to Chinese Valentine’s Day either. How many Valentines Days are there in China?
In total, there are around 6 Chinese Valentines Days. Yup, that’s right. 6 different dates to make sure not to forget!
情人节 – qíngrén jié
The 14th February, like in the West, now marks one of China’s many Valentine’s Days. A recent import from the West, it is very popular amongst younger generations.
Much like in the West on this day, you can expect couples to spend time together by going to the cinema or for romantic dinners. It is also common to buy chocolate and roses for your loved ones – the pricier the better!
白色情人节 – báisè qíngrén jié
White Day is a festival celebrated in many East Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam. This Chinese Valentine’s Day falls exactly one month after Valentine’s day on the 14th February and is traditionally celebrated with females gifting their partner’s or loved one’s chocolate.
It is also common to homemade chocolates, which generally shows deeper thought and more feeling behind it. Chocolates are also gifted as a social obligation to colleagues or friends.
520 – wǔ’èr líng
This interesting Chinese Valentine’s Day recently entered China through the growing internet culture of Netizens. It came about because 520 (pronounced as ‘Wǔ’èr líng’) sounds like the Chinese for “I love you” (wǒ ài nǐ).
May 20 is therefore spent similarly to that on the 14th February and is celebrated only amongst young millennials.
七夕节 – qīxì jié
Qixi Festival comes from the romantic tale of two lovers who can only come together once a year, which is why it is celebrated on this day. It is celebrated on July 7th (7/7) on the Lunar calendar, which usually comes in August.
Just like Western Valentine’s day, on this Chinese Valentine’s Day you can expect to get gifts or go for a meal with your companion. Otherwise, you could spend it eating typical foods such as 油饭 yóufàn, 麻油鸡久 máyóujījiǔ and 软果 ruǎn guǒ.
元宵节 – yuánxiāo jié
The Lantern Festival is held on the 15th day in the Lunar Calendar. This ancient traditional festival is seen as a Chinese Valentine’s Day.
One of the reasons for this is because back in olden days when women were barely able to leave the house. Going out to go and light the lanterns during this festival was a rare occasion when women could go on dates and find a partner.
It is typical on this day to eat a kind of sweet dumpling – a kind of mochi filled with peanut or sesame paste.
双十一 – shuāng shíyī
China has been celebrating Single’s Day for a few years now, originally there to celebrate being single – but now simply celebrates consumerism.
The story goes that this date was originally celebrated by students in Nanjing university who wanted to celebrate being single. The dates 11/11 were chosen for having two double lines representing being single.
Giant Alibaba then took over the day to turn it into a Black Friday/Cyber Monday style day of crazy shopping.