Today’s the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, which of course only means one thing: It’s Qi Xi Festival! Also known as the Double Seventh Festival, Magpie Festival, and a whole slew of other names, all of which bow down to the general term of Chinese Valentine’s Day.
There are several versions of the story behind Qi Xi Festival, but the basic story goes something like this: A cowherd and weaver girl fall in love and get married. Unfortunately, the weaver girl is the daughter of the Jade Emperor, who’s displeased by his daughter mixing with a mortal. Daddy makes the weaver girl come home, cowherd gives chase, and bam! Jade Emperor cuts him off by creating the Milky Way. But a nearby group of magpies decides to form a bridge for the lovers to meet, and the Jade Emperor agrees that once a year they can be together. That one day, of course, is Chinese Valentine’s Day.
If you wanted to go traditional, you could show off your melon carving skills, or make offerings to the matchmaker today in hopes of getting hooked up. But like all good holidays, today’s really a chance for you to go out and spend money. The folks at CityWeekend have rounded up some of the deals around Shanghai here and here. Most involve romantic dinner specials of some sort, but the Traffic Light Party at Zeal sounds promising. (However, if you were planning on lighting lanterns tonight at Zhujiajiao, the air traffic controllers at Hongqiao have nixed that idea.)
But friendly PSA, dear readers- however you choose to celebrate your second Valentine’s Day of the year, just remember to stay safe. Love, your friends at Shanghaiist.
Photo from Shanghai Daily