Valentine day and Chinese newlyweds 

While visiting different picturesque places in China, I’ve come across many newlywed couples posing for their wedding photos. As St. Valentine’s Day is approaching, let me share the pictures I’ve taken, and tell you some words about Chinese holidays assigned to celebrating love.

Many Chinese people have adopted the Western custom of celebrating St. Valentine’s on February 14: exchanging gifts, having a special date or a romantic dinner, or even getting married. The old Chinese tradition, however, has two other festivals instead, celebrated in a similar way.

Chinese love festivals

One of them is the Lantern Festival. In those times when unmarried girls from respectable families were forbidden to leave the house, that festive day was their only opportunity to step outside, see colorful lantern exhibitions, and possibly have a date. Nowadays, couples still go out to spend the evening of the Lantern Festival together, though it probably was somewhat more special in the times gone by, being their one and only day per year to do so…

The Double Seventh Festival is also considered to be a Chinese Valentine’s Day alternative. It has to do with a romantic legend about Altair, or Niu Lang, who was a poor hardworking cowboy, and Vega, or Zhi Nü, the 7th daughter of the lord of the heaven. In love with each other but separated as they come from different worlds, they were only allowed to meet on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month every year, hence the Festival’s name and its special significance to all love couples.

The dates of both festivals change all the time according to the Chinese calendar. The Lantern Festival of 2016 falls on February 22, the Double Seventh Festival – on August 9. Neither is an official public holiday, but beautiful celebrations are in store just the same!
Most Chinese gifts for St. Valentine’s are similar to those of Western countries. Still, there are some things to avoid while choosing a present in China. For example, giving your partner yellow roses means you want to break up. An umbrella is a bad gift as well, since the Chinese for “umbrella” is 伞 (‘san’), which sounds the same as 散 (‘breaking up’). Shoes also have this unfortunate connotation, such a present implies you’re “packing off your love”.

Anyway, the February 14’s tradition has definitely become more or less international by now, so wherever you are, enjoy the chance of a special date, choose the right presents for your significant others, and have a happy St. Valentine's Day!

Newlyweds at the Lee river

Newlyweds China Lee river

Blue Moon Valley

Newlyweds Blue Moon Valley China

 

Bride in the Jiuzhaigou national park

Bride Jiuzhaigou national park China 57

 

Jiuzhaigou national park

Newlyweds Jiuzhaigou national park China

 

Jiuzhaigou national park

Newlyweds Jiuzhaigou national park China

 

Jade spring park Lijiang

Newlyweds Lijiang China

 

 

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About the author
Anita is a part time traveler, passionate photographer and a mature career woman
from Latvia, 
traveling mostly solo for more than 10 years. She is a skilled travel planner
planning and executing her travels by herself. Follow Anita also on Instagram.

 

 
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Comments   

Cynthia
#12 Cynthia 2016-02-19 16:19
Such a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing!
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Shasha
#11 Shasha 2016-02-18 01:39
This is such a cool post. The pictures are absolutely gorgeous!
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Lottie Reeves
#10 Lottie Reeves 2016-02-17 22:09
Such lovely photos, what a romantic post. I have seen many Chinese people around the world posing for their wedding photos. They se
To take the opportunity to posh with well known backdrops much more seriously than others who get married overseas!
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Daniela
#9 Daniela 2016-02-17 19:44
I love all the wedding pictures :) so sweet and the couples try really hard to make it work.
And it is amazing how much they adopt from other countries.

Thanks for sharing them.

Daniela
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sabrina
#8 sabrina 2016-02-17 16:25
Thank you for sharing! I've learned that:
-chinese people are very romantic... almost like italians (or even more
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Andrea
#7 Andrea 2016-02-17 16:16
Wow....note to self....Jiuzhaigou national park is now on my bucket list! And I can't imagine not being allowed to leave the house with the exception of the festival, hooray for modern times hahah :)
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Melissa L
#6 Melissa L 2016-02-17 14:38
Love this post. The pictures are beyond cute! Great for Valentine's day!
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Sarah
#5 Sarah 2016-02-17 14:33
Wow you really have come across a lot of people posing for their wedding photos! I do too in NYC especially in Grand Central & Central Park. Thanks for sharing the holidays!
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Clair Kelly
#4 Clair Kelly 2016-02-17 14:19
What a gorgeous idea! I have been to China but didn't know about some of these traditions. i love learning about love in other cultures :)
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Allison
#3 Allison 2016-02-16 02:04
What a lovely post in time for Valentines Day! The pictures are so beautiful.
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