Today marks the Qixi Festival, the most romantic festival of Chinese traditional festivals, and is equivalent to Valentine’s Day on February 14. Traditional Chinese people usually hold all kinds of activities to celebrate the special festival.
Girls usually prepare tea, wine, fruits, flowers, various nuts and face powder to pray to Zhinu for wisdom. In the evening young women sit around the table, displaying their needlework, gazing at Vega, and praying for a good husband and a happy life. Then they play games or read poems until midnight.
Qiaoguo is also called the Qiqiao Guozi, which is a kind of fried thin pastry usually made with oil, flour sugar and honey. People believe that eating Qiaoguo will help Niulang and Zhinu reunite, and their wishes will come true through the Magpie Bridge.
Traditionally, there were contests amongst girls such as needle threading under the moonlight. Young women also carved exotic flowers, animals, and unusual birds, usually on a melon skin.
Children would pick bunches of wildflowers and hang them on the horns of oxen. This is done in honor of the legendary ox and commemorate the spirit of its self-sacrifice.
Praying for Good luck in Marriage and Family
Single women make wishes for marrying someone who would be a good and loving husband. And the newly married women pray to become pregnant quickly.
Celebrating as the Valentine’s Day
At present, more and more Chinese people celebrate this day as the Chinese Valentine’s Day. Youngsters celebrate it in a very similar way as that in western countries. They send flowers, chocolates or other gifts to their lovers.