Of course you know Valentine’s Day is coming up. And, be warned, it’s huge in China. You’ll be forced to take part.?Funnily, American cynics have, for years, disparaged the day of the heart. “It’s become just a Hallmark holiday,” they decry. Well, in China, that’s the way it started!
V-Day didn’t hit the Chinese mainland until 1993, when three companies used the flirty festival to sell their services. Shoe-makers Lijia threw a week-long Valentine’s Day lucky draw. A Beijing Mc-Donald’s gave a free rose to every customer, all day long. And the Wangfu Hotel held a Valentine’s Day party, flogging tickets at 300 RMB a pop. Since then, it’s exploded.
This year, though, promises to be bigger than most, for the big V falls on the first day of Chinese New Year. You can use this as a way out (“I have to eat with my family!”) or you can make it a doublyfestive double-happiness day. But either way—it’ll surely be a night for celebration.