February 14 is the Western Valentine Day.
How about the Chinese one?
There are two Chinese Valentine Days. One is on 15th Day of CNY (Chinese New Year), the other one is on Lunar 7th of July.
This year the CNY 15th Day is on 2nd March & the Lunar 7th of July is on 17th August.
For Chinese New Year, we celebrate for 15 days and the 15th day is the ending of celebrating Chinese New Year. The 15th day of CNY is also called the Lantern Festival. It is the first full moon after the spring festival, i.e. the 1st day of CNY, which we called it yuán xiāo jié.
Another reunion dinner would be held with lanterns and mandarin oranges being part of the celebration. Sure, it is customary to eat special sweet dumpling soup called Yuanxian/ tangyuan which is made in round shaped balls to resemble the full moon. These balls are made of glutinous rice flour stuffed with sweet fillings which symbolise sweet and reunion. My family usually put mashed sweet lotus or mashed sweet red beans as fillings and eat it with cane sugar soup.
During this Chinese Valentine Festival, lanterns are displayed. When I was a kid, my mom bought me lanterns, we’d light it up and walk around the park having fun with relatives after the reunion dinner. After we grew up, we usually go to the HK (Hong Kong) island beside Victoria Park to see those giant lantern exhibitions arranged by the government.
There is one special game with the lanterns; i.e. Guessing Riddle. Usually, the question would be hung under the lantern. If you have the answer, you take the question off and give the answer to the host of the lantern; i.e. how couples make friends via the riddle game and be Valentines.
The festival is also associated with guiding lost and ill-bred evil spirits home. We also celebrate and cultivate positive relationships between people, families, nature and the higher beings as they are believed to be responsible for bringing and returning the light each year.
What am I going to do this Chinese Valentine Day? I have no class; but I need to finish reading all the material of my elective BSM521 Quality Management module and submit the coursework.
However, there is one thing I must do and that is go out to either River Dee or Duthie Park to enjoy the sun set of Aberdeen and make my own sweet dumpling soup.
You may ask how about the Lunar 7th July. It is an ancient love story which I will tell in August when it happens.
Read more about Chinese New Year in my other posts.