Today is Qixi, the Chinese Valentine’s Day. Located in Haidian District, Beijing, the Yuanmingyuan Park holds a special celebration for this meaningful festival during the week.
Qixi is on the 7th day of the 7th month in the lunar calendar every year. This year, it is on August 7. The origin of Qixi has a beautiful but tragic story. In Chinese mythology, Qixi is the only day in a year when Niulang and Zhinyu, a separated couple, can finally reunited. It is the only traditional Chinese festival which devoted to love. In old time, Chinese girls prepared fruits, melons, and incense as offerings to Zhinyu, the weaving maiden, praying to acquire high needlecraft skills, and hoping to find a satisfactory husband.
During the weeklong celebration, the area where is the ruins of a Qing Dynasty royal resort are decorated with colorful umbrellas. Visitors can experience Chinese traditional games like paper folding and tangram. Many cultural souvenirs are also displayed and worth having.
The Yuanmingyuan Park is also holding the 24th annual lotus festival. More than 300 varieties of flowers can be seen inside the park.