How Does Asia Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Feb 14, 2019 | Asia, Culture

The day of hearts is extra special in Asia

“Single blessedness” jokes aside, Valentine’s Day is definitely one of the more popular celebrations in Asia, and each country has its own unique way of showing their love.

South Korea & Japan

South Korea and Japan have two interrelated days that have to do with showing love.

On Valentine’s Day, females scramble to produce special, handmade chocolates to the apples of their eyes – just the females at this point.

Expensive chocolates and those made with custom molds are extremely popular. The gesture means “you are special” and males customarily do not return the gesture – not just yet.

On White Day (March 14), the males who are also devoted to their partner will provide gifts of flowers, chocolates and other tokens of love. Mind you – not every man and woman in South Korea receives gifts on these two special days, so being with someone is definitely a plus if you want to feel a fit of the giggles.

What about those who aren’t given anything? In Korea, Black Day is on April 14, and the lovelorn can express their grief over not having anyone special with special black bean noodles.

Declaration of Love – Temple Japan | L’oeil étranger

China

The Chinese version of Valentine’s Day is the Qixi Festival, held in August of every year. During this time, people purchase massive bouquets or arrangements of flowers to show their affection and love for one another.

Also called the Double Seventh Festival, the festivities are rooted in an ancient story about a cowherd named Niulang. Niulang, together with his talking ox, hid the clothes of the most beautiful goddess, Zhinu while she bathed. Zhinu is said to have descended directly from the Jade Emperor himself.

After bathing, Niulang returned Zhinu’s clothes and the two immediately fell in love with each other. The story which began in the Sorrow of Niulang living alone in a forlorn cottage ends on a sparkling note of marriage with the most beautiful goddess, Zhinu.