February 14th is known as Valentine’s Day, but did you know that in Eastern cultures, there is also a day for lovers that corresponds to Valentine’s Day? In fact, the 15th day of the Chinese New Year is the Chinese “Valentine’s Day”.
The day is known as “Lantern Festival” in Japan, and is often called “Yuanxiao Jie” in China. According to the lunar calendar, it is the first full moon day of the year, and it is customary to light brightly colored lanterns in many places. In ancient times, going out at night was often forbidden, but on this day, people were allowed to go out at night specially to see the decorated lanterns and to look at the full moon. This became a place for boys and girls to get to know each other, and later became established in the Chinese culture as the Valentine’s Day of the East.
This year’s Lantern Festival was on February 15, so some people could celebrate with their loved ones two days in a row since it directly followed Valentine’s Day. I’m sure it will be a special memory for them.