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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in China Series at ChineseClass101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Chinese holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 20. Valentine's Day. In Chinese, it’s called 情人节 (qíngrén jié).
Valentine’s Day is a romantic holiday celebrated in many parts of the world on February 14th. In recent years it has gained popularity in China as well, and is now one of the favored Western holidays in the country.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
What is the name of the traditional Chinese Valentine’s Day?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
On Valentine’s Day, people give gifts, or 礼物 (lǐwù), such as chocolate, cards, and flowers, to lovers or to people they like as an expression of their love. The most common exchange is for boys to give girls roses, and for girls to give boys chocolate. Anywhere you go on Valentine’s Day, you will see couples, or 情侣 (qínglǚ) out on dates celebrating their relationship.
Many businesses also participate in Valentine’s Day, using it as a chance to create a romantic atmosphere for customers. For example, some shopping malls will host a variety of games and activities for couples to participate in, such as kissing contests, in which the couple that kisses the longest wins a prize.
In response to Valentine’s Day, an interesting holiday called “Single’s Day” or 光棍节(guāng gùn jié) has developed in China. On this day, which is celebrated on November 11th, people who aren’t in a relationship come together to celebrate their single status. “Party for single sticks,” or 光棍的聚会 (guānggùnde jùhuì) is the term used to refer to the parties that bachelors have together on this day, which most often involves hanging out, eating, drinking, and watching movies.
In Chinese, the word lover, or 情人 (qíngrén) means mistress, and implies an illicit love affair. So when you introduce your significant other to people, don’t call them your “lover,” as it may be misunderstood!
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
What is the name of the traditional Chinese Valentine’s Day?
The traditional "Valentine’s Day" of China is the Qixi Festival, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. We covered the origin and customs of this day in another lesson – do you still remember it?
What did you think of this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day in your country? Please leave a comment telling us at ChineseClass101.com, and I'll see you in our next lesson. Bye!