BEIJING (TIP): Millions of Chinese couples and love seekers celebrated Qixi, the Chinese valentine day on Thursday, in a variety of ways. The occasion also saw some headline grabbing events including famous pop singer, Jon Bon Jovi serenading a famous love song, “The moon represents my heart,” in Mandarin.
The festival revolves round a legend about a Krishna-like cowherd lover, Niulang, who fell for a fairy girl, Zhinu. The gods prohibited the love between the mortal and the fairy and kept them separated across a mythical Silver River. They were allowed to meet for one day and night each year on Qixi, according to the legend, which dates back from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220).
Marriage bureaus across many cities reported long queues of young couples registering their marriages. Dating websites and matchmaking services offered by phone companies and private agencies were inundated with requests from people seeking partners.
Previously divorced couples also use this occasion to return to each other’s arms. Many others looking for partners including millions of “left over women” who have crossed the age of 35, vow to intensify their efforts to find a partner.
A woman in Xiangyang city of Hubei province went a step further to beckon her estranged boy friend. She spent a huge sum putting up a billboard at a bus stand, which carried her picture with the words, “Chen Qiaorong, Marry me!”. Local media reported that she was paying a tidy sum for a week because the going price for renting billboards at this time was 100,000 yuan (Rs 1 million) per day.
A group of 10 men from western countries took to the street in Wuhan with over a dozen buffalos to attract the attention of Chinese girls. They tried to play the cowherd in the Chinese legend while passing on roses to passersby.
Meanwhile, a girl student in Guangdong is waging a legal battle against China’s Ministry of Education over textbooks which describe homosexuality as a “disorder” that can be treated. She has filed the lawsuit using an alias, Qiu Bai, seeking deletion of the text degrading homosexuality.