Chinese valentine's day in Sydney

CNC report from Sydney
Added On August 14, 2013

Today marks the Qixi Festival, also known as Chinese Valentine's day, which falls on the 7th day of 7th month of the lunar calender.

The festival originates from a love story about a cowherd and the daughter of a goddess in Chinese mythology and some 2,000 years to the Han Dynasty.

We take a look at how some couples in Sydney, Australia celebrated this year.

In Australia, five couples' love have just been witnessed on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, coinciding with the first rays of sunlight on August 13th, which, this year, is the dawn of the traditional Chinese Valentines'day.

Besides the typical gifts of roses, chocolates, wine and Valentine's Day cards, it's another way to celebrate romantic love.


SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH) BING LI, CNC correspondent
"Here we are, the world famous Sydney Harbour Bridge in the morning of Qixi Festival. Today five couples are sharing their love stories right on the summit of 134 metres above the majestic Harbour, with a beautiful sunrise through the spectacular structure and out across the harbour and the city."

Chinese Valentine's Day, also known as Qixi in China, falls on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

The tale tells a story of a cowherd who marries the daughter of a goddess, but her mother orders them to separate.

Thus, the Weaving Maid lives in the star Vega while the cowherd lives in the star Altair.

Only once a year, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for just one day.

Over thousands of years, Qixi has stayed throughout the time as one of the most joyful Chinese traditions.

Activities such as stargazing and releasing lotus lanterns on rivers have became popular in China.

Many Australian residents who fall in love are catching up with the mainstream in their mother country, via a romantic ceremony on the striking feature of Sydney's skyline - the Harbour Bridge.

SOUNDBITE(CHINESE) GRAHAM AND LYNN, Sydney citizen
"We've been married for 9 years, it is a special moment for us to celebrate this year's anniversary."

Loved by the locals, the Sydney Harbour bridge is one of the iconic destinations where people gather to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Nearly 3 million local and international visitors to climb the bridge, including over 8000 couples who got engaged right on the bridge over the last decade.  

A young Chinese man named Hu Haibo put a ring on his girlfriend's finger here, living out the  classic Qixi story.

SOUNDBITE(CHINESE) HU HAIBO AND GAO FEI, Sydney citizen
"I want to give her a special proposal, I was thinking about many options, but this one just came to my mind finally."

Over the years, Chinese migrants have brought Chinese traditions to Australia in terms of cuisine, festivals and values.

As a home to more than 160,000 ethnic Chinese, Sydney has regarded itself as one of the most multicultural cities in the world.