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"Chinese Valentine's Day" -China, Japan, and South Korea celebrate differently!

"Chinese Valentine's Day" is the Chinese Valentine's Day, and it is also a good day for the Cowherd and Weaver Girl to meet in Magpie Bridge. In addition to China , Japan and South Korea have a tradition of celebrating Tanabata. Skyscanner counts the customs of China, Japan, and South Korea to celebrate the Chinese Valentine's Day and see how the three places spend the romantic Qixi Festival.

Chinese Qixi Festival

Qixi Festival originated in China, and the earliest books to record the customs of Qixi Festival can be traced back to the Han Dynasty. Regarding the origin of Chinese Valentine's Day, I have to mention the long circulated story of Cowherd and Weaver Girl. Legend has it that the Jade Emperor has seven daughters. The youngest daughter, Zhinv, is smart and cute. She came to the world to meet and fall in love with Cowherd, and later married Cowherd and became his wife. When the Jade Emperor learned about it, he was very angry and forcibly took the Weaver Girl back to the sky, and the two were forced to separate. Later, the loyal love of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl moved the magpies, and thousands of magpies flew to build a magpie bridge and let the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl walk on the magpie bridge to meet. Since then, the seventh day of the lunar calendar has become the day when the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl meet at the Magpie Bridge.

Chinese Lanterns

Chinese Qixi Festival

In the Tang and Song Dynasties, Qixi Festival was one of the important festivals in China. Unmarried women in ancient China would come to Huaqian Moon on this day, looking up at the starry sky, looking for Altair and Vega on both sides of the Milky Way, hoping to see them meet once a year. At the same time, I hope that God will let myself be as ingenious as the Weaver Girl, praying that I can have a happy marriage. Although modern Chinese people tend to celebrate Qixi Valentine's Day in the Western way of celebrating Valentine's Day, traditional Qixi customs, including begging for cleverness, drying books, worshiping the moon, worshiping Kui, and eating clever fruit, are still passed down in individual regions.

Qi Qiao

Qixi Qiao Qiao originated in the Han Dynasty. On the evening of the Qixi Festival, the girls in ancient times would face the sky and the moon, put seasonal fruits and fruits, and pray to the sky, begging the fairies in the sky to give them clever hearts and dexterous hands, and make their knit women red Skillful. They will prepare brass seven-hole needles and use five-color thin threads to pierce the moon. This is the custom of begging for cleverness.

Bai Kuixing

In addition to Chinese Valentine's Day, July 7th is also Kuixing's birthday. According to Chinese astrology, Kuixing is the master of writing and scholars who want to gain fame will worship Kuixing on the Qixi Festival and pray for success in their studies.

Fresh fruit

There is a custom of eating fruit on Qixi Festival. Qiaoguo is not a fruit, but a special deep-fried snack on the Qixi Festival. To make clever fruit, first knead flour, sugar, and honey into a dough, then put it in wooden molds with various flower patterns such as pears, pomegranates, apples, and goldfish, and then deep-fry them. Some people will dye the fruit red, then use a long thread to form a string, tie the end of the flower cloth, and hang it on the wall as a decoration. In ancient times, women would throw the fruit on the back of the house and let the magpies go to build a bridge, hoping that the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl would cross the galaxy day and night to meet.

Japanese Tanabata Festival

The Tanabata festival in Japan was spread from China. Modern Japanese still attach great importance to the Tanabata Festival and regard it as one of the five major festivals each year (the other four festivals are: "Human Day" on January 7 and "Shangsi" on March 3 , May 5 "Dragon Boat Festival" and September 9 "Chongyang"). Japanese Tanabata is the 7th day of July in the solar calendar every year, not calculated according to the Chinese calendar. The legend of Tanabata in Japan originated from the Nara period. It is based on the legend of the Weaver Girl and Cowherd from China. It also includes the traditional rituals of the goddess of weaving women in ancient Japan, which is a product of the integration of Chinese and Japanese cultures.

Every July 7th, the Tanabata Festival is celebrated all over Japan. For example, Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower will hold the Tanabata light-up event, Sensoji Temple will hold the Asakusa Festival, and Disneyland will have a special event for the Tanabata Festival.

Japanese Tanabata Customs

When the Tanabata Festival first spread to Japan, Japanese nobles would hold gatherings to gaze at the stars and chant poems and music, which was a palace festival. Entering the Edo period, the Tanabata Festival gradually spread among the people.

Make a wish on paper

Every Chinese Valentine's Day, the Japanese would write their wishes on long thin papers and tie them to small bamboo branches, hoping to realize their wishes. Why use bamboo sticks? Because the bamboo grows straight and upward, and the bamboo leaves rustle in the heights, the Japanese believe that it can convey their wishes to heaven. In addition, bamboo has the effect of preventing insects and protecting rice, so it also means a good harvest. In addition to long lines of poems, the Japanese also tie traditional ornaments representing different meanings on bamboo. For example, the streamer represents the hope that weaving skills will improve; the net-shaped paper strip represents the prayer for a good harvest in the fishing industry; the purse represents the savings of money; the paper crane prays for longevity and so on.

Tanabata Festival

There are three major Tanabata festivals in Japan, namely "Sendai Tanabata Festival", "Shonan Tanabata Festival" and "Anjo Tanabata Festival". In addition, Aomori Prefecture also celebrates Tanabata with the six-day "Aomori Nebuta Festival" every August. The following briefly introduces Sendai Tanabata Festival and Aomori Nebuta Festival:

The Sendai Tanabata Festival is a traditional festival that has been passed down for a long time. Since this festival also presents the elegance and luxurious decoration of the star festival in Japan since ancient times, it is now a national festival in Japan. During the event, not only the downtown of Sendai and the surrounding shopping streets, but also the streets and lanes are full of colorful Qixi decorations, attracting more than 2 million tourists every year to experience the atmosphere of Qixi together. For details, please check the Sendai Tanabata Festival website .

Aomori Nebuta Festival is listed as one of the three major festivals in Tohoku and one of Japan’s three major fire festivals. It was registered as an important intangible folk cultural property in Japan in 1980. It is said that this festival was transformed from the Chinese "Tanabata Festival", and after merging with local customs in the Tsugaru area, it became a unique Aomori Nebuta Festival. During the festival, more than 20 floats called "Nebuta" will cruise the city center. Dancers wearing unique costumes for the festival, "Jumping people", will dance as much as they want while shouting "Who is it?" The atmosphere is very lively. ! The Aomori Nebuta Festival attracts more than 3 million tourists from home and abroad every year, and is the biggest event in Aomori Prefecture every year. For details, check the Aomori Nebuta Festival website .

Korean Tanabata Festival

The Qixi Festival in South Korea also originated from China. The method of calculating the Qixi Festival is the same as in China, which is the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. According to the Korean writer Choi Namsun's "Korean Common Knowledge", Qixi Festival was originally a Chinese custom and then spread to South Korea. In the past, South Korea had activities such as begging for cleverness, publishing books, and offering sacrifices during the Qixi Festival. However, the Qixi Festival is no longer an important festival in Korea.

Korean lanterns

Korean Tanabata Customs

Korean Tanabata customs are somewhat different from Chinese ones. On the Chinese Valentine's Day, every family in South Korea puts pancakes and fruits harvested for the first time this year. Women will put a bowl of well water on the sauce jar to pray for a long life and a safe family.

Pancakes, steamed cakes

In the old days of South Korea, in addition to holding sacrifices to pray for safety, Koreans also eat noodles, pancakes, steamed cakes, and drink peach schisandra tea. Today, the tradition of eating pancakes and steamed cakes on Tanabata Festival is still popular in parts of Korea. In addition to the traditional pancakes for sacrifices, most young people will eat delicious seafood pancakes and kimchi pancakes to spend the Chinese Valentine's Day.


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