Valentines day, as we all know, is a western holiday that remembers saint Valentine, but a little known fact is that nothing was actually known about Saint valentine, it was simply the name given to represent fourteen martyred saints in ancient Rome. The first time it was celebrated as a feast was in 496AD, and it was only in 1493 that the classic story of a man who married Christians in secret came about.
Be that as it may, it doesn’t stop people celebrating it, not only in the western world, but also in China. I can’t say for sure when mainland Chinese people started celebrating St. Valentines day, as it had already taken hold when I arrived here in 2002, but what I can say is that at least where Chinese girls are concerned, they are just as obsessed with the holiday as western females are.
Dating Chinese Girls on Valentines Day in China
Apart from a few differences with customs I’ll mention later, Valentines day pretty much goes along the same lines as it does in most western countries. Couples get together on the day, and where possible they will spend the whole day with each other; otherwise they will get together in the evening and hopefully go for a romantic meal.
In China, the same problem is faced as it is on this celebration in every other country, that of all the restaurants being overbooked! It really came as quite a surprise to me when I first encountered this in China. I had imagined that it would be a cinch to find a decent restaurant that I could take my Chinese girlfriend to. Yet, unless I wished to take her to a really common local restaurant, or McDonald’s (there are loads of McDonald’s in China), it was almost impossible to find a restaurant with a free table.
Booking in advance would be a good idea.
What You Should Give Your Chinese Girlfriend on Valentines Day
There is a really interesting cultural difference about this day in China, and it is this: On Valentines day, Chinese girls give their boyfriend chocolate. Finally, there is some benefit for men on Valentines day! Personally, I love chocolate, and when I first found out about this cultural difference I was over the moon, all be it, a bit confused as to why Chinese women gave men chocolate.
I never found out the reason why, as no one in China seems to know why. Also, men don’t really have to give their girlfriend Valentines day cards, although it must be said, any Chinese girl would be very happy to receive one.
A man is simply supposed to give his girlfriend some roses, and take her for a meal on this day. Some Chinese girls may hope to get some other kind of gift, but it’s really not so necessary, unless you really want to do so.
Another popular gifts on Valentines day that guys give their girlfriend, would be cuddly toys. I should add, if your Chinese girlfriend suggests that jewelry is a ‘traditional’ gift on Valentines day in China, she may be being overly optimistic, either that, or she’s watched too many western romantic movies and gotten totally the wrong idea.
Whatever you decide to do with your Chinese girlfriend on Valentines day, you should be pretty safe as long as you make it romantic. But if she doesn’t buy you chocolate, I would suggest you complain a bit, as it’s by far the biggest benefit any man has in the world on Valentines day.