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Pingtan finds creative ways to celebrate Qixi

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2013-08-15

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Pingtan finds creative ways to celebrate Qixi

When it comes to celebrating Qixi Festival, Pingtan locals are never short of creative ideas.

Dubbed China's Valentine's Day, Qixi Festival (occurring on the seventh day of the seventh Chinese lunar month) fell on August 13 this year. It boosted businesses such as restaurants, snack sellers, movie theaters, hotels and jewelry in many parts of China. Pingtan was no exception.

Customized ornaments were popular during the festival in Pingtan, according to jewelry sellers.

"Many young customers chose to buy a diamond or a gem, asking for personalized designs like carving a couple's initials," said Mrs. Chen, a saleslady at a jewelry store on Haitanzhong Road.

Xihang International Cinema came out with special ticket package that included seats in the seventh row of the theater. The offer was hot all day, according to an employee.

Mr. Zhu showed his romantic side by purchasing fireflies online and releasing them in front of his girlfriend.

"When she opened her eyes, she saw the fireflies flickering in the air like little stars," he said.

Many couples planned to spend the festival at the sand sculpture zone on the beach, where organizers set up lights in the shape of a heart to create a festive atmosphere.

Debate on excessive spending

Although many residents basked in the romantic environment of the festival, some complained their expenditures were unaffordable.

Mr. Lin, a bank employee, told the Pingtan Times that he spent at least 1,700 yuan ($278) out of his monthly income of 2,000 yuan on Qixi Festival this year, which he admitted was difficult to handle.

"The merchants are rolling out promotional events. Our friends all celebrate the festival this way. So it is all about creating an atmosphere," said an Internet blogger by the name of Byron.

"It is kind of boring as it is always about meals, shopping, movies and flowers," said Mrs. Ding, adding that she will try to find more creative ways to celebrate the festival.

Some experts said Qixi shouldn't be considered a Chinese version of Valentine's Day. Based on the definition, Qixi was originally celebrated by ancient women seeking wisdom and skill from Zhinv, the goddess of weaving.

Edited by Chen Zhilin and Michael Thai