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Have You Heard of Chinese Valentine's Day?
Chinese Valentine's Day is actually very cool. They do not regard their form of the holiday in the same way as we western hemispherians. (*grin*) It's still a neat holiday for lovers and I'll tell you why. But first! -- a little Chinese Valentine's Day history for you history buffs.
The History of Chinese Valentine's Day
Chinese Valentine's Day falls on the seventh day of the seventh month in the Chinese lunar calendar. For those playing along at home, that's August 26, 2009. The traditional story is a love story told of two star-crossed lovers (a droll joke, or so you'll later learn). One is the 7th daughter of the Emperor of Heaven. Her love interest is an orphaned cowherd. A true "he's from the wrong side of the tracks" story or a pasture in this case.
Anyway, the emperor couldn't stand the thought of them together so he decided to banish them to stars far away. He sent his daughter to the star Vega and the cowherd to the star Altair. Being a somewhat benevolent father, he decided to allow them to see each other once a year. You can probably see where this is going. That day--now celebrated as Chinese Valentine's Day--is the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar Chinese lunar calendar. You can almost hear the a-ha's.
Modern Celebration of Chinese Valentine's Day
Chinese girls and women do not take their dates for a night out and expect an armful of chocolates and flowers. Instead, they all visit a matchmaker in hopes that doing so will provide blessings for their future relationships. Couples in love also go to the matchmaker to ask for blessings on their relationship. There are several other interesting traditions but the one that really caught my eye for obvious reasons is how the young ladies use flowers.
They decorate the ox's horn with flowers in hopes of preventing future disasters in their relationships. My only question now is where do I find a PETA approved Ox horn and a bucket full of flowers?
How Florists Help Celebrate Chinese Valentine's Day
Lovers may not be visiting their florist for love advice on this day but that doesn't mean that florists can't help lovers find a way to share their affection. In fact, the westernization of many traditional celebrations puts them in the starting line-up! Aside from the crazies like me muttering something about "flowers for my ox horn", you can still give fun gifts from the local flower shop to your lover on this day.
If you are a Chinese-American or just one who likes to celebrate random holidays (and I do!), this is a fun occasion for gift giving. Surprise your date with a bouquet of flowers as you leave to see "the matchmaker" in your life. A cute little twist would be to send flowers with an enclosure card that reads "for your ox horn". Now off to my local florist for a gift for the most non-traditional traditional holiday I've ever heard of!