Qixi Festival: The Chinese Valentine’s Day Celebrating Love

Qixi Festival

Qixi Festival, the Double Seventh Festival or Chinese Valentine’s Day, is a traditional Chinese festival celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month. With a history spanning over 2,000 years, Qixi Festival holds great cultural significance as a celebration of love and romance.  

Legend of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl

The Legend of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl is a Chinese folk tale associated with the Qixi Festival, Chinese Valentine’s Day.

Qixi folk story

Niulang, a kind-hearted cowherd, falls in love with Zhinü, a heavenly weaver girl. They marry and live happily on Earth, but the Queen Mother separates them, forcing Zhinü to weave in the heavens. Niulang seeks help from an old ox, who sacrifices himself for him. With the ox’s hide, Niulang flies to the heavens with their children. The Queen Mother creates the Milky Way to keep them apart, but they can meet once a year on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month. On that day, magpies form a bridge for them to reunite.

Their love story symbolizes the longing for love and the belief in overcoming obstacles for true love.

Preparations and Decorations

Preparations and decorations are essential in creating a festive atmosphere for Qixi Festival, also known as Chinese Valentine’s Day.

Cleaning and Tidying

People thoroughly clean their homes before the festival, sweeping away negative energy and making way for positive vibes and new beginnings. People believe maintaining a clean and organized environment during the festival attracts good fortune and blessings.

Displaying Paper Cuttings

paper cutting

Symbols of love, such as hearts, flowers, and the characters for “double happiness” (囍), adorn doors and windows with intricate paper cuttings.

These paper cuttings believed to bring good luck and happiness, actively add a festive touch to the household.

Related Article:

Chinese Paper Cutting: A Cultural Heritage Worth Preserving

Hanging Festive Lanterns

Hanging Qixi Festive Lanterns

People hang colorful lanterns, often made of paper or silk, outside homes and in public spaces.

Lanterns symbolize brightness, joy, and good fortune, and their vibrant colors create a lively ambiance during the festival.

Floral Arrangements

The flower of love

People use flowers, particularly roses and peonies with romantic connotations, to decorate homes and public spaces.

The fresh blooms add beauty and fragrance, enhancing the atmosphere of love and romance.

Making Love Knots

Love Knots

Intricately woven from colorful threads or ribbons, love knots are handmade and exchanged as tokens of love and affection.

Love knots represent the unbreakable bond between couples and are given as symbols of everlasting love.

Setting Up Altars and Offerings

Altars are prepared to honor the heavenly weaver girl, Zhinü, and pray for blessings and good fortune.

People place offerings such as fruits, sweets, tea, and incense on the altar to show respect and gratitude to the celestial deities.

Illuminating Candles

Illuminating Candles

Candles are lit to create a warm and romantic atmosphere during Qixi Festival.

Soft candlelight symbolizes love, devotion, and hope for the reunion of loved ones.

Romantic Traditions and Customs

Praying to the Weaver Girl

Praying to the Weaver Girl

   – Young women traditionally pray to Zhinü, the Weaver Girl, seeking her blessings for skills in needlework, weaving, and craftsmanship.

   – It is believed that Zhinü’s influence will bring good fortune in these areas and enhance a woman’s domestic abilities.

Exchanging Gifts

Exchanging Gifts

   – Qixi Festival is a time for couples and young lovers to exchange gifts to express love and affection.

   – Popular gifts include flowers, chocolates, handwritten love letters, and small tokens of affection.

   – Exchanging gifts strengthens bonds and symbolizes appreciation and care between partners.

Stargazing and Wishing

Stargazing and Wishing

   – Couples and young individuals often spend time stargazing on Qixi Festival night.

   – They make wishes to the stars, hoping for lasting love and happiness and fulfilling their romantic aspirations.

   – Stargazing represents the longing for love and the belief that true love can overcome distance and obstacles.

Making Love Knots

   – Love knots, intricately woven from colorful threads or ribbons, are handmade and exchanged as romantic gestures.

   – Couples give love knots as symbols of everlasting love, representing their unbreakable bond.

   – The act of exchanging love knots signifies the commitment and devotion shared between partners.

Romantic Dates

Qixi Dates

   – Qixi Festival is a popular time for couples to go on romantic dates and spend quality time together.

   – Couples may choose to have a special meal at a restaurant, enjoy a walk in a scenic location, or engage in activities that deepen their connection and create cherished memories.

Sending Love Messages

   – Modern technology has influenced Qixi Festival customs, with couples using social media platforms and messaging apps to send love and greetings.

   – Virtual expressions of love, such as sharing photos, writing heartfelt messages, and dedicating songs, have become common customs among young couples.

Romantic Performances and Events

Qixi Performances and Events

   – Cultural performances, music concerts, and romantic-themed events are often organized during Qixi Festival.

   – These events allow couples to enjoy performances together and celebrate their love in a festive atmosphere.

Modern Celebrations and Adaptations

Online Shopping and Promotions

Online Shopping and Promotions at Qixi Festival

E-commerce platforms capitalize on Qixi Festival by offering special promotions and discounts on romantic gifts.

Online retailers provide a convenient way for couples to shop for gifts, ensuring a wide variety of choices and easy delivery options.

Couple Photography Sessions

Many couples have professional photoshoots during Qixi Festival to capture their love and create lasting memories.

These photoshoots often occur in scenic locations or studios, with couples dressed in romantic attire, capturing their love and affection in beautiful photographs.

Online Love Challenges and Activities

Online Love Challenges and Activities at Qixi Festival

Online communities and social media platforms host various love-themed challenges and activities during Qixi Festival.

These may include sharing love stories, participating in online quizzes, or engaging in virtual events that promote interaction and connection among couples.


The Qixi Festival holds profound significance as a celebration of love and romance deeply rooted in Chinese culture. This cherished occasion resonates with individuals, couples, and families, encapsulating the universal human desire for emotional connection, lasting relationships, and the pursuit of love.

With its rich traditions and profound symbolism, Qixi Festival embodies the values, aspirations, and deep-rooted emotions associated with love. It serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring power of love and the importance of nurturing meaningful connections.

From heartfelt gestures to romantic tales, Qixi Festival has become a time-honored expression of love and devotion, highlighting love’s cherished place in Chinese society and captivating people’s hearts across generations.

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