A group of suited-up foreign men walked around with buffalos in the city of Wuhan yesterday to celebrate Chinese Valentine’s Day, which falls today. So romance…isn’t…dead?
The 10 expats, who we can only assume are “models” in China being paid to do this for some promotional reason, each herded their own buffalo through the street and handed out roses to passersby.
In case you’re confused, the spectacle all connects back to the origins of Chinese Valentine’s Day, also known as the Qixi Festival, as CCTV News explains:
The Qixi Festival is marked on the seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It’s the day to celebrate the annual meeting of two separated lovers—”Niulang” (a cowherd) and “Zhinu” (the weaver girl).
According to an ancient Chinese legend dating back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), the love between Zhinu, who was a fairy, and Niulang, a mortal, was forbidden by gods. So the couple was separated to the opposite sides of the mythical Silver River, only permitted to meet once a year on this day.
The legend also has another celestial twist, Niulang and Zhinu’s story is popularly seen as representing the alignment of the stars Altair and Vega, separated by the Milky Way.
(For a more comprehensive understanding of the tale, read Shanghaiist’s rendition here.)
Indeed, the Qixi Festival is considered an auspicious day for lovebirds in China, and many flock to civil affairs bureaus to have their marriages registered on the date. As we’ve learned before, that always works out well.
Meanwhile, Jon Bon Jovi bestowed upon the women of China a “gift” for Valentine’s Day, which is him serenading them in Mandarin.
Go with it. Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day!