Western Valentine’s Day has become a hugely popular festival in China over the past few years since the Middle Kingdom has opened to the West. Despite the fact that China already has it’s own lover’s day, Qixi Festival, many Chinese, especially young couples, college students and urban socialites, get into Western Valentine’s Day and enjoy celebrating this romantic holiday.
Since Valentine’s Day is a Western import, many of the ways in which Chinese celebrate it are also influenced by Western customs. For instance, some of the most common traditions are for lovers to exchange greeting cards and chocolates, or to go see a film together. February 14 is considered a romantic day in many of China’s cities, and you will often observe couples strolling together hand-in-hand on that day.
The influence of Western customs on China’s Valentine’s Day celebrations leads some people to dine in Western restaurants and coffee shops on February 14. In cities like Shanghai and Beijing, many restaurants offer Valentine’s Day specials, romantic meals, special wines and other deals to entice amorous couples to dine out.
Though traditionally a couple’s day, many young Chinese singles celebrate this festival by getting together in groups and eating dinner or enjoying a film together. Friends and relatives also show that Valentine’s Day is not solely a lovers’ holiday by sending greeting cards, candies and other tokens to show their care and love in a non-romantic way.
Shops and department stores also get into the Valentine’s Day spirit with decorations and sales. Some of the larger stores go all out with Valentine’s themed window displays, special wedding sales, chocolates shaped like hearts and other romantic motifs, etc. Walking around China’s larger cities around February 14, you are sure to see plenty of red and pink decorations and feel a sense of romance and passion about Valentine’s Day in China.