Here in China, we’ve just celebrated Valentine’s Day on the 14th of August. Although the Western Valentine’s Day on the 14th of February is widely celebrated in China as well, Qixi Jie is the traditional, Chinese Valentine’s Day.
This movable feast takes place on the seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar. This year, that was on the 14th of August. The name Qixi translates as ‘night of sevens’.
There’s a lovely, but typical, story behind it about two lovers who can’t or aren’t allowed to be together. In this case, the legend of Zhinu and Niulang. She’s from heaven, while he’s an ordinary human being. Her mother doesn’t allow them to be together, so she takes her daughter back to heaven and creates a large river separating heaven and earth.
However, a huge flock of magpies builds a bridge, so that the lovers can meet again. Even the mother is so moved by this that she decides to allow the two to meet once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh month.
A great romantic story, isn’t it? People eat traditional, sweet biscuits on this day. Apart from that, the Chinese mark the day with the usual Valentine’s things, like a candlelight dinner, an evening out to the cinema, gifts, and, yes, now we’re talking, lots and lots of flowers. The latter is of course why this is an important day for us. Our product is in demand throughout the year thanks to our high quality, our assortment and the all-year-round availability of a stable top product. But festive days like Qixi are the icing on the cake for us of course.
Let’s be honest – although I’m convinced that all rose growers are incredible romantics, a week of great sales figures certainly makes our hearts beat a little faster too!
General manager Van den Berg Roses, China