China’s official news agency retrieved these incredibly sweet photos of Valentine’s Day celebrations through the ages, the earliest tracing back to 1988.
February 14, 1988, the last Sunday of the Year of the Dragon, coincided with the Western Valentine’s Day holiday. Ninety-nine pairs of young men and women held weddings at the Beijing Great Wall Hotel while Associated Press and Reuters photographers snapped away with their cameras.
On February 14, 1990, Maxim’s, a restaurant in Beijing, hosted various activities to celebrate the Valentine’s Day holiday for Chinese and foreign couples. Here, a Chinese model shows off a Spring fashion creation by French designer Pierre Cardin.
February 14, 1992: Many young people in Beijing flocked to buy fancy flowers as a gift to their lovers.
February 14, 1993: The streets of Beijing, full of young lovers holding red roses.
While the Western Valentine’s Day has become incredibly popular China, many consider the Tanabata Festival to be the traditional Chinese Valentine’s Day.
August 5, 1992 aligned with the 7th day of July on China’s lunar calendar. According to Chinese folklore, this marks the The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd meeting day. To celebrate, a McDonald’s in Beijing hosted a Chinese Valentine’s Day party for customers, wherein the waitresses handed out red roses and blessings to couples.
February 14, 1994: Couples across China, immersed in love.
On February 15, 1995, the Lantern Festival and Valentine’s Day happened to fall on the same day. As the magnetic telephone card was just taking off, telecom bureaus were packed with people waiting to send holiday greetings to their loved ones.
On February 16, 1996, hotels in Shenzhen saw increased business as the streets were lined with bright red posters expressing romantic sentiment.
February 12, 1997: Haidian Road in Beijing, packed with vendors selling flowers for the approaching holiday of romance.
February 11, 2001: A young woman appears camera-shy next to Valentine’s Day posters on a bulletin board near Beijing Normal University.
By Isabel Quan