Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
Without a doubt, the Chinese are absorbing many of events that westerners observe, if for no other reason than to capitalize on the commercial aspect. Commercialism at its best in a communist country, eh?
Still the Chinese do have their own version of Valentine’s Day.
8 facts about Chinese Valentine’s Day –
1. Chinese Valentine’s Day is called “The Day of Sevens” or Magpie Festival.
3. Chinese Valentine’s Day happens on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month. This year it happens on August 26th.
4. Young Chinese girls practice melon carving and wish for a good husband. Fellows just hope to get their hands on a good melon or two.
5. The story behind Chinese Valentine’s Day is something like this –
A young cowherd named Niulang happens across seven fairy sisters bathing in a lake. His ox companion (this being the year of the Ox notwithstanding) encourages him to steal the girls clothes and wait to see what happens. (if you want your girl to take her clothes off for you and she asks why, tell her “the cow told me to tell you to do it.) The youngest and most beautiful of the fairy sisters Zhinü gets sent to retrieve their clothes. When Niulang sees her naked she has to agree to marry him. They prove to be a good match and have two children. The Goddess of Heaven, maybe Zhinü’s mother, gets mad because her youngest marries a mortal and she orders her back to heaven. Niulang is bummed out that his wife is gone. The cow tells Niulang that if he kills him and wears his hide, he’ll be able to go up to Heaven. Niulang tearfully kills his friend and carries his two children with him off to Heaven to find Zhinü. The Goddess of Heaven finds out he has come, takes our her hairpin and scratches a wide river in the sky to separate the two lovers – forming the Milky Way.
Zhinü is stuck sitting on one side of the river and Niulang on the other. However, once a year all the magpies in the world pity them, flyi into heaven and form a bridge so the lovers may be together, if only for one night -, the seventh night of the seventh moon.
If it rains, or if it is cloudy, it doesn’t happen and the lovers must wait till next year.
6. On Chinese Valentine’s Day, lovers go to a temple of Matchmaker to pray for love and happiness and a possible marriage (thus giving up love and happiness in the end.)
7. Chinese Valentine’s Day is also called – The Daughter’s Festival, The Festival to Plead for Skills, The Seventh Sister’s Birthday, The Night of Skills
8. On Chinese Valentine’s Day girls perform a test by putting a needle on the water surface hoping it doesn’t sink. If it floats, it’s a sign of the girl’s maturity and smartness and suitability for marriage.
That little Chinese girl you are in love with? Ask her if she can float a needle.
Looking for a romantic story to tell your sweetheart on the Western Valentine’s Day. Try telling her this story. And don’t forget the needle.