Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day and the Nights of Sevens

Rose and chocolate. That’s a powerful combination on Valentine’s Day, which is today. However, a rose bought on Valentine’s Day is always easily double one bought on any other day in cost, a classic case of market forces of supply and demand at work. So we bought a combination of carnation, orchid and some other which we do not recognize instead. First thing in the morning at Sweetbay on the way back from sending our D to her school.

And last night, we had to do a last-minute stop at CVS for her to buy packets of chocolate candies so that she could pack them in equal portions into little red/pink bags (like so) for distribution and exchange with her coterie of good friends in the school. How time has changed since we were last in school. Probably didn’t even know about Valentine’s Day then.

But I don’t think I could be stingy on the chocolate part. And I know just the place for that: a Godiva outlet within walking distance from my office in Old Hyde Park. So I made a brief stop there on my way home for lunch. There were several customers doing the same thing too: picking up the right gifts for their loved ones. This year’s box comes with an elegant design featuring water color painting of heart-shaped flowers, seemingly afloat and ascending, beaconing to couples everywhere (like so).

No candle-lit dinner. No romantic showmanship. Just a couple enjoying each other's company and whose connubial tie has withstood the passage of time, the affection sublimating with each Valentine’s Day, one that has actually crossed the millennial threshold. We are indeed blessed.

Valentine’s Day is essentially a western celebration of love. For Chinese, the counterpart occasion is on July 7 (double 7) of the lunar calendar, and is variously known as The Night of Sevens (left) or The Festival to Plead for Skills (right). Personally, I prefer the Night of Sevens as it contrasts with the Day of Valentine's Day. It is based on a love story made in heaven (pardon the pun) between a mortal cowherd and the weaver girl from heaven. I have known about this folklore even before I was first smitten. Last year, it fell on August 30 but it’s Aug 19 this year, a Sunday. So mark your calendar if you missed doing the needful to your loved one today.


Kitty Girl said...

Hmm!! I have never heard of this "The Night of Sevens"! Most interesting... Looks like Dan & I will have to celebrate that, since he is sick in bed with the flu today. :( In fact, I was the one who bought him a Valentine's Day balloon... Heehee. So what exactly is this story between the cowherd and weaver heaven girl?

Say Lee said...

Here's wishing Dan a speedy recovery.

As for the love story between the cowherd and the weaver girl, which is the chinese version of Romeo and Juliet but with a happy ending, one of the versions anyway, just read about it at the embededd link.