Come 14 February there is probably not a corner of the world that is not caught up in the fervour of Valentine's Day. Criss-crossing continents, reaching even remote corners, Valentine's Day celebrations have transcended all geographical boundaries, cultural beliefs and languages. 14 February is one day which unites all lovers of the world, when love and romance fill the air -- and exchanging gifts and cards between lovers becomes the 메이저놀이터 number one activity of the day!
While the essential spirit of Valentine's Day is observed all over the world, each country has embellished it with its own unique take on the celebrations. Take a peep into how Valentine's Day is celebrated in China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.
The Qi Xi Festival: Valentine's Day in China
The Qi Xi Festival is the Chinese equivalent of Valentine's Day. It is, however, not celebrated on 14 February like the rest of the world, but is guided by the lunar calendar -- falling on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar each year. In 2009, Qi Xi was observed on 26 August, while in 2010 this date will be 16 August.
Legends surround the genesis of Qi Xi but the common thread of a tragic love story runs through all of them. It is believed that it is on this Chinese Valentine's Day the star-crossed couple -- a cowherd and a weaver -- meets in heaven each year. Having been banished for an eternity of separation by the Goddess of Heaven, it is only once a year that she relents and allows magpies to build a bridge for them to meet.
On this day, young, unmarried girls engage in melon carving and demonstrate their other domestic skills as they wish for a good husband.
Valentine's Day in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan
Do you know that Japan, South Korea and Taiwan have two Valentine's Day in a year -- one on 14 February and the second, a month later, on 14 March?
Many hearts break and mend on Valentine's Day but perhaps nowhere else does a chocolate seal the happiness of a man as surely as it does in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan! Roles get reversed in these South Asian countries where it is the women who give chocolates to all the men in their lives on Valentine's Day. Not surprisingly, the chocolate assumes tremendous significance for these men, particularly the type of chocolate that is given. Store-bought stuff is called 'giri-choco' which is more or less a 'courtesy chocolate'. As the name suggests, it is mostly given out of courtesy to those males in whom the woman has no romantic interest whatsoever (the smitten and hapless male lives in dread of receiving this 'gift'). Those who have captured the fair maiden's hearts are rewarded with delicious, homemade chocolates, or the 'honmei-choko'!