Category: Festivals/Celebrations

Qixi Festival (Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day)

Qixi Festival (Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day)

Global Granary would like to wish you all a Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day!  Jiayou

Yep, me too.  I find it rather ‘strange’ to be celebrating Valentine’s Day today.  Valentine’s Day is on 14th February every year.  🙂

Today, however, is the Qixi Festival, also known as Qiqiao Festival.  This festival is celebrated just like the St Valentine’s Day, where lovers go on dates, giving presents like chocolates and flowers.

The Qixi Festival originated from one of the poems from the Shijing collection of Odes and Songs dating back from 11th to 7th century BC.

The poem is a narrative of the saga of the romantic but forbidden relationship that develops between a human and a goddess.

Niulang was a poor cowherd boy, who lived with his brother and brother-in-law.  He was a male Cinderella, maltreated and abused to the point of being thrown out of the house.

Niulang then met an old man, who told him that there was a job going for a resourceful cowherd.  Niulang was so grateful to the old man, who was, in fact, a supernatural being.  He brought Niulang to the heavens to look after sick cows.

In no time, the bovines where thriving.  The old man was grateful to the young man.  He noticed thought that Niulang looks lonely.  As a reward for the hard-working man, he introduced her to a beautiful girl, who spends her day weaving.  She is a goddess incognito and her name is Zhi Nu.

It was love at first sight for both of them.

A marriage between a mortal and a deity is strictly prohibited.

But they did not care; they were in love and got married, had two kids and would have lived happily ever after if the goddess’ grandmother did not find out.

The grandmother, Wang Mu Niang Niang, thought her granddaughter was contentedly weaving infinite yarns 🙂 in a corner of the heavens; she did not know that she was playing wifey to some mortal.

She was incandescent with rage that with her hairpin she scratched a wide ribbon in the heavens separating Zhi Nu from her mortal family.

Zhin Nu and Niulang with their children cried so much that their tears flowed into the chasm between them creating a river.

It might be pity or it might be a wish for some peace and quiet from all the cryings that a great flock of magpies forms a bridge so the family can be reunited for a day.

So it was then decided that on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month each year, the magpie will help to reunite the family.  That is why today is also known as Magpie Day.






2018 – Year of The Dog

2018 – Year of The Dog

You belong in the Years of the Dog if you were born in the year: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018 and next one will be in 2030.


2018 is a Fire Dog Year.

Lucky numbers are: 3,4 & 9

Lucky flowers:  Rose (you can’t never go wrong with this delicately scented blossom), oncidium, cymbidium, orchids.

Lucky colours are green, red and purple.


2016, Year of the Monkey

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2016, Year of the Monkey

Today is the start of the year of the Monkey.  For some reason, this very Chinese cultural tradition has been adopted in the Philippines that it has become a national holiday.  It never used to during my time in the Philippines.

I supposed it was proposed and ratified by the government of the Aquinos because of their close tie to the large Chinese community in the Philippines.  And yes the first Chinatown outside of China 🙂 can be found here in the Philippines.  It is located in exotic  Binondo.

Anyway the start of the Chinese new year is celebrated in a big way.  It is the time to best attract prosperity and wealth.

Chinese household usually clean their homes inside and out  just before the new year.  They prepare their lucky money envelopes and display fruits and round circular objects, candies and goodies on their dining table.

They also serve lots of sweet cakes, which my particular favourite is the tikoy.  Simply delicious.

The superstitious beliefs in connection with the start of the new year do not stop here.  They have more things to consider that can put your head and mind in a whirl.

Apparently, people born in the year of the monkey are quick-witted, sociable, enthusiastic, innovative and self-assured.  The downside, I am afraid, is that they can be jealous, suspicious, cunning, arrogant and selfish.



Love Wish Tree

Love one another and you will be happy. It’s as simple and as difficult as that.
~Michael Leunig

True love stories never have endings.
~Richard Bach
Valentines day tree For you see, each day I love you more
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.
~Rosemonde Gerard

Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.
~Robert Browning
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~Marcel Proust

Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths.  No man or woman really knows what perfect love is until they have been married a quarter of a century.
~Mark Twain

My heart to you is given:
Oh, do give yours to me;
We’ll lock them up together,
And throw away the key.
~Frederick Saunders

Hope all your love wishes/ dreams came true this St Valentine’s Day.  If they have not, keep looking!  🙂  Life is full of opportunities and rewards to those who seek!