Qixi Festival (Chinese: 七夕节; literally “The Night of Sevens”) falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month on the lunar calendar which is Aug 23 this year; thus its name. It has sometimes been called Chinese or Oriental Valentine’s Day since the late 1990s, which is, strictly speaking, an inaccurate portrait of the festival.
In late summer, the stars Altair and Vega are high in the night sky, and the Chinese tell the following love story, of which there are many variations: A young cowherd, hence Niulang (literally “cowherd”), came across a beautiful girl–Zhinü (literally “weavergirl”), the seventh daughter of the Goddess, who just had escaped from boring heaven to look for fun. Zhinü soon fell in love with Niulang, and they got married without the knowledge of the Goddess. Zhinü proved to be a wonderful wife, and Niulang to be a good husband. They lived happily and had two children.
Fairy tale is fairy tale. On the other hand, love story of real Chinese people is not so romantic.
During Qixi Festival this year, there’s a video becoming popular in China which is called “Chinese style love”. Only on Youku (China Youtube other big video platforms are excluded), it has been watched over 2 million times. An important factor for its wide spread is it holds a mirror up to the reality of Chinese love life. Following is the video:
How Money Affects Chinese Marriage Market
In today’s China, money has become one of the most important factors in marriage. In fact, it is the no.1 marriage killer in China. Many couples have chosen to separate for money.
According to the survey,
- 92% females think only guys with stable income are acceptable to marry with.
- 70% females think owning house is a must for marriage.
- 80% females think a guy without 4,000 salary a month has no rights to be in love.
- 27.1% of them even think a guy with over 10,000 salary is suitable to have a relationship with them.
Females worry about salary for some reason. The average cost of a marriage in China is now surprisingly high as noted in the example,
Jack from US needs $1,000 for car, $4,000 for renting a house, $3,000 for furniture, $1,000 for a ring, $4,000 for honeymoon trip and $3,000 for a car. In total it costs Jack $16,000.
Mr. Liu from Beijing, China needs ￥2,200,000 for buying a house, ￥30,000 for a ring, ￥5,000 for wedding photography, ￥9,000 for wedding suit, ￥20,000 for wedding dress,￥2,000 for wedding shoes, ￥3,500 for MC, ￥20,000 for ceremony organizer, ￥80,000 for wedding dinner. To sum up, Mr. Liu has to spent ￥2,370,000 for his wedding.
According to the exchange rate today, the expense of Mr. Liu is 23 times than that of Jack.
How Parents Influence Chinese Marriage Market
Parents take an important role in Chinese people’s marriage. Sometimes, it’s even more important than couple themsevles. The heavy financial burden requires most couples to ask help from their parents.
81.6% parents financially support their children in wedding. This influences wedding market greatly. Since parents pay money for wedding, they take the decision according to their taste. That’s why you can see a lot of weddings are so normal and in old style, sometimes even the food is more suitable for middle-age people or senior citizens.
In fact, many parents take decisions since date arrangement! In today’s China, 180 million single men and women seek their life partner via blind date. And 23.8% of them are introduced to their boyfriend or girlfriend by their parents!
Mary Lou McNamara
Hi Philip, can you tell me where the survey information you reference came from? I’d like to find out more. Thank you.