2 3 live&learn&rejoice: qíngrénjié kuàilè / ystävänpäivä / happy valentine's day

February 14, 2011

qíngrénjié kuàilè / ystävänpäivä / happy valentine's day

obligatory tribute to february 14 . . .

 valentine's day in china courtesy of http://www.echineselearning.com/saint-valentines-day-in-china.html:

Most young people in China are also keen of Saint Valentine's Day. Actually, in China we have a similar holiday dedicated for love, as in the west. In Chinese, it's called "七夕节(qīxī jié) The Seventh Eve."It is also known as "中国情人节(zhōngguó qíngrén jié) Chinese Valentine's Day"and "女儿节(nǚér jié) The Daughter's Day." It occurs on the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese lunar calendar. This day was originated from a beautiful love story. The seventh daughter of the Goddess of Heaven, 织女(zhīnǚ) Zhi Nv, fell in love with a cowherd called 牛郎(niúláng) Niu Lang. Regardless of the taboo that an immortal could not marry a mortal, she decided to marry Niu Lang. They lived happily for several years. Eventually, however, the Goddess of Heaven became fed up with her daughter's absence, and ordered her to return to heaven. However, the mother took pity on the couple and allowed them to reunite once a year. Legend has it that on the seventh night of the seventh moon, magpies form a bridge with their wings for Zhi Nv to cross to meet her husband.

In ancient times, various activities were held to celebrate the festival in different places, but young people nowadays like to release the "孔明灯(kŏngmíngdēng) Hung Ming lanterns"on the Chinese Valentine's Day, which was invented by Zhuge Kongming at the time of Three Kingdoms. In the evening, lovers make good wishes together and light Hung Ming lanterns with full blessings of faithful love between them, just like the love between Niu Lang and Zhi Nv.

valentine's day in finland courtesy of . . . http://www.finnguide.fi/calendar/calendarevents.asp?month=2&p=9

In Finland this celebration arrived rather late, and was officially listed in the almanac in 1987. In Finland Valentines Day is called "Ystävänpäivä", which means "Friend's Day". Unlike many other countries where Valentines Day is mainly a day of "Romance", in Finland it is also the day when close friends send cards and gifts to each other, although it is a popular day to get married and engaged on.

Even though Valentines Day came to Finland from the United States, its roots are visible in European folklore and in Catholic legends. The tradition of celebrating St. Valentines Day on 14th of February, dates back to ancient Rome, when Romans were celebrating Juno, the protector of matrimony and maternity.

The name Valentine comes from saint Valentinus, the martyr, who's commemorative day has been celebrated on 14th of February, since the 350's. According to legend, Valentinus was conducting marriage ceremonies for soldiers, who were not allowed to get married, and was therefore acting against the orders of the military commanders. As a result Valentinus was arrested, and to show their gratitude, wives of the soldiers sent gifts, cards and flowers to Valentinus. He was executed on the 14th of February (Valentine's Day).

and valentine's day tribute to my spousal unit in the us of a: