When Valentine's Day Meets Lantern Festival
   2014-02-13 10:55:44    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Wang

The photo shows an old couple who has been married for 62 years holding their marriage certificate on Feb 12, 2014. 99 old couples celebrate their golden jubilee as well as a romantic Lantern Festival in Beijing Botanic Garden. [Photo: CFP]

Related: [Valentine Special] Lifelong Love

Red hearts, red roses, and pink decorations have already invaded the world. Yes, Valentine's Day is approaching, according to the Gregorian calendar used in the West. The Lantern Festival, in turn, is celebrated on January 15th of the Chinese lunar calendar and officially marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. Something worth noting this year is that Valentine's Day and the Lantern Festival fall on the same day this year, February the 14th.

How should you spend the day when the festivities of east and west meet on the same day? Do you spend it with family or do you share your time with a significant other?

Report: On Valentine's Day, couples usually enjoy candlelight dinners and, to many, it's only appropriate to give out roses to your special someone. This year, on the same night, people will hang paper lanterns and gather with family-members to usher in the lunar New Year.

Just like China's other traditional holidays, the Lantern Festival also has its own signature dish, called "Yuan Xiao", or sweet dumpling. Although the sweet dumplings vary in name and recipe across the country, they are always coated with glutinous rice flour. This year, clever merchants have combined sweet Valentine elements into the sweet dumplings. Here's Xiao Zhang, shop assistant at the time-honored Beijing Daoxiangcun Food Company.

"This year, for Valentine's Day and the Lantern Festival, we offer chocolate-filled yuan xiao, which is really popular right now. And the dumplings filled with rose petals and red bean paste are also in high demand. These are new deviations from the traditional tastes. The customers seem to like it!"

Every year, Xiao Zhang sells more than three-thousand Jin, or 15 hundred kilograms, of yuan xiao at his branch. He says the yuan xiao business is at its peak as the Lantern Festival approaches. Because the round and squishy sweet rice dumplings symbolize the reunion of family, most Chinese families would consider the festival incomplete with the absence of this key dish.

However, here is the February 14th dilemma: should you eat sweet rice dumplings with family or give your significant other a rose bouquet? One thing to consider is how the fall in flower-supplies this year has makes giving roses an expensive expression of adoration.

As the country's flower production base in Kunming, Yunnan Province, suffers from rain and snow around the Spring Festival period, the supply of roses flowers dwindled significantly, which has subsequently driven up their price.

"The price for flowers will be at least twice as much as last year's. That's according to wholesale price hikes. Roses are the most expensive! Usually, the price will only continue to go up as we approach the big day."

Appreciating the beauty of the full moon with family is quite an enjoyable activity. On this special date where Valentine's Day and the Lantern Festival meet, a good way to keep parents and your significant other happy is to bring them together at the same table. That may even save you some money.

Enjoy February 14th everyone, with love, passion and happiness, and hopefully sweet dumplings at the same time!

1  2  
More Photos

Shaolin Kung Fu Masters Recruited as Special Policemen

Flight Attendants Taught Wing Chun to Prevent Terror Attacks

China's First Driverless Subway Train on Exhibition

Premier Li Meets British Queen

Man Stopped From Jumping Out Window by Fire Hose

A Traffic Light in Chongqing only Leaves Two Seconds for Green Light

Shandong Taichi School Popular With Foreigners

World Meat Congress Addresses Meat Food Safety

Sino-African Media Forum Opens in Beijing

6 Students Dress as "Gourd Brothers" for Graduation

Three in Tian'anmen Terror Attack Sentenced to Death

"Find China's Most Beautiful Seven Fairies" Contest Held in Anhui

Girl Travels Europe with Cardboard Cutout of Late Father

North Korean Leader Takes a Submarine Ride

Michael Schumacher 'Out of Coma'

Colombian President Reelected with Commitment to Peace

U.S. Marks 150th Anniversary of Arlington National Cemetery

ISIL Jihadists Execute Dozens of Captives

Insurgents Cut Off Fingers of Afghan Voters

Everyday Scenes Recreated with Keys

Participants Dressed in White Attend White Dinner

Thailand Expects Interim Gov't No Later Than September

PNA Employees Rush to Withdraw Wages from ATM in Gaza City

"Sewol" Captain, 3 Crew Members Stand Trial in S. Korea

• Musicians Keep Current with Traditional Influences

• Thousands Challenge Ice & Snow Magic Power at Emei Mountain

• Time to Birding in Luoyang Sui & Tang City Relics Botanic Garden

• Ice and Snow Hot Spring Festival at Emei Mountain

• Free Ski at Emei Mount

• Stone Elephant Lake Welcomes Travellers with Fascinating Flowers

• Lilies Bloom at the Stone Elephant Lake

• Fashion, gaming, and AI come together for night of lectures

• Tangshan Bay: Surf, Sand and Serenity

• A Review of Highlights of ITE Sichuan


CRIENGLISH.com claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. No person, organization and/or company shall reproduce, disseminate or broadcast the content in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of CRIENGLISH.com.

CRIENGLISH.com holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

The Sound Stage
China Revealed
My Chinese Life
Photo Gallery
Learn Chinese
"In" Chinese
Chatting in Chinese
Pop Culture
Traditional Culture
Living Chinese
Chinese Studio
Chinese Class
Learn English
Special English
Pop Chart
Everyday English
Fabulous Snaps
CRI News
China.org.cn  | Xinhua  | People's Daily Online   |  CNTV.cn  | China Daily  |  Global Times  | China Job  |  China Tibet Online  | Taiwan.cn  | eBeijing  | Beijing Today  | China-Eurasia Expo  | APEC Yiwu Conference  | Chinese Embassy in S.Africa  | Chinese Embassy in Australia  | Chinese Embassy in NZ