Chinese Valentine’s Day

The awesome thing about being Chinese is that there are THREE Valentine’s Day in our calendar! Add in the Western Valentine’s Day, and you get FOUR big romantic days!

If you’re curious, the three Chinese Valentine’s Days are: (1) Chinese Lantern Festival (元宵節 Yuan Hsiao Chieh – not to be confused with the Mid-Autumn/Mooncake Festival) which occurs on the 15th day of the Chinese Lunar New Year; (2) The Feast of the Double Sevens (七夕節 Ch’i Hsi Chieh) which occurs on the 7th day of the 7th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar; and (3) the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節 Chung Ch’iu Chieh), which occurs on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar (technically, it isn’t a Chinese Valentine’s Day, but there’s a romantic story behind it, and so many construe it as an equally romantic day/night anyway).

Well, there are people who say that Valentine’s Day is over-rated, and that any day can be a Valentine’s Day – why bother with it? I think it’s true that the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day has made it over-hyped and over-rated. But, it doesn’t follow that we shouldn’t celebrate it, or for that matter, say everyday is a Valentine’s Day. Because if everyday is a Valentine’s Day, then there is no Valentine’s Day – if everything is special, then nothing is special – special becomes the new norm.

Of course, even if I were to go by that logic of making every day a Valentine’s Day (making every day special, thereby making everyday normal), there’s still a human need in us to celebrate extra-special days. Apart from birthdays, Christmases and New Years – sometimes, you just gotta find a good excuse to have an extra-special day. Three more Valentine’s Day in the Chinese calendar? Works for me! The girlfriend likes the idea anyway – so why not? So, if you add 2x New Years (Western and Chinese), 2x Birthdays, Christmases, Anniversary, 4x Valentine’s Days – you get 10 extra special days in a year. That’s quite lovely. It gives you something wonderful to look forward to each month – although I’ll need to find another 2 more extra special days to ensure that every month has something extra special. And, I think, each special day should always be marked with a special gift. I love making stuff anyway, so it’s a win-win situation! She gets romantic gifts on each special day, and I get to enjoy making them for someone special.

So anyway, what did I make for The Girlfriend?

Well, since the Chinese Lantern Festival (Chinese V-day) marks the end of the Chinese New Year festival, I decided to make use of some Chinese New Year goodies!

One of the snacks is known as – Love Letters! (as in the photo below)

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Why is there tissue sticking out of each love letter? Haha… Glad you asked. I was doing this in the school library (because I spent the entire night working on a project, and had no time to finish it at home), and another friend saw this packet. The conversation went like this:

Friend: What’s this? Why’s there tissue inside?
Me: What’s this snack called?
Friend: Love letters.
Me: Yup!
Friend: *silence*
Me: Yup! *smiles*
Friend: OOOOH!!!

Yup, that’s right. There is a love letter (piece of paper) inside each love letter (the snack). I wrapped it in tissue for hygiene purposes.

But of course, it isn’t nice just giving a packet like this. So, I made a box (entirely from scratch) to store the love letters.

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After building the box, I wrapped the whole thing – first, with calligraphy paper, and then with coloured rice paper. And for finishing touches, added ribbons and gigantic smiley face! =D

I even added magnetic strips. The idea was that the magnetic strips would keep the lid closed. But to my annoyance, the magnets just wouldn’t attract (I made sure I got the polarity right – I even cut through the wrapping to adjust the magnets just to be sure – still didn’t work). How annoying! I had to think of another way of keeping the box closed tightly. The solution? Just tie it with a ribbon!

Problem solved!

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The Girlfriend was extremely delighted.

I have an even more awesome (Western) Valentine’s Day gift waiting for her. I’ll post that up once the day has passed.