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Valentine's Day means celebration, not conspicuous consumption

China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-15 08:05

Valentine's Day means celebration, not conspicuous consumption

Zeze and Ziye pose in Sanlitun, a popular commercial district in Beijing, Feb 13, 2017. The lovers are college students in Beijing. They have been in love for over a year. This year's Valentine's Day, Zeze plans to spend more than 2,000 yuan ($291) with Ziye to watch movies and explore Nanluoguxiang, a popular alleyway in the city. [Photo/VCG]

Tuesday was Valentine's Day, a day when young men and women fret about not only what words of endearment are appropriate, or even what kind of promises to make, but also where to eat and what gift to buy their significant other. Beijing News commented on Tuesday:

Businessmen who are good at turning all holidays into shopping carnivals have already begun to turn the day into a commercial jamboree. All the discounts and sales promotions for the day overwhelmingly imply that those who are single should feel inferior because they are not spending money on a loved one.

Through the different ways of celebrating Valentine's Day, a non-public holiday, we can still see the different cultures and temperament. In Europe, where St. Valentine's Day originated as a Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus, the day has more of a holiday vibe.

The acceptance of Valentine's Day in China and the way it is celebrated mainly derive from the customs in the United States where the day is more commercialized than it is in Europe. In the US, Valentine's Day equates to spending money to demonstrate how much a person loves another or show how romantic they are.

As a matter of fact, people can choose to celebrate the festivals they want in the way they like. But it would be a pity if this celebration of the beautiful sentiment of love eventually becomes nothing more than a conspicuous or compulsive act of consumption.

There is always a principle in the meaning of the intricacies of any festival, that is, respect for the different ways people live their lives. If a festival is found to be "successfully" established upon any sole cultural or business logic, then it is not the problem of a holiday, but people.

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