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Lovers say 'I do' on Chinese Valentine's Day

CCTV.com

08-09-2016 19:08 BJT

Full coverage: Qixi Festival

Tuesday marks the annual Qixi Festival, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. It's known as Chinese Valentine's Day, and is a popular day for young couples to register for marriage.

Tuesday marks the annual Qixi Festival, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. It

Tuesday marks the annual Qixi Festival, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. It's known as Chinese Valentine's Day, and is a popular day for young couples to register for marriage.

In Shanghai's Yangpu District, the marriage registration services on Qixi Festival have been fully booked.

200 new couples in the district have planned days in advance to officially tie the knot on Chinese Valentine's Day. 

More than 2,000 people are expected to register to marry in the city of Shanghai on this specific day.

"It's a good day today. We booked the service online 10 days ago. It's not easy to make the reservation as the service was almostly fully booked," said Mr Qian, newly married.

"We opened the registration reservation system 10 days ago, and all time-slots were immediately filled," said Zhang Xiaoli, Marrige Registration Center, Yangpu District.

But why is Qixi considered a romantic day for getting married?

Chinese legend has it that two star-crossed lovers Zhinu and Niulang, who are banished to opposite sides of the Milky Way, are only reunited once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh moon, when a flock of magpies forms a bridge across the "silver river" of stars in the sky.  

Qixi Festival  commemorates the annual meeting of that mythical couple. The day is also known as "Qiqiao Festival", or  "Begging for Skills Festival". During China's Han Dynasty, women would gather together on this day to pray for good needlework skills. 

Earlier this week, some fans of Han culture put on traditional Han costumes and practiced their embroidering skills on the streets of Beijing in order to experience what life was like in China more than 2000 years ago. 

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