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Chinese Cupid Brings His Blessing to the 2016 Tainan Chihsi Festival

   

The heat of summer has arrived in Tainan, and so has the heat of love. When the Chihsi Festival (七夕), Chinese Valentine’s Day, comes around each year, the glittering sunshine and summer breeze seem to whisper sweet avowals of love in every corner of the city.    

 

The Chihsi Festival is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar, so is sometimes called the “Double Seventh Festival.” This year, it falls on August 9. To mark this joyful celebration of love, Tainan City Government is organizing the 2016 Tainan Chihsi Festival from July 22 to August 21, making this a very special month for love and lovers in Tainan.    

 

At Creative Tainan, the former Tainan Patriotic Women’s Association, you can savor  the romantic ambience of a lovers’ train journey at an exhibition on the theme of travel and the “Chinese Cupid”, Yue Lao (月老), the god of love and marriage in Chinese mythology. This is presented alongside an exhibition to mark the 10th anniversary of “Friendship City” relations between Tainan and the city of Sendai in Japan. As well as highlighting the connections formed between Tainan and Sendai over the past ten years, this exhibition also shows how the Chihsi Festival is celebrated in Japanese style in Sendai, giving you an opportunity to deepen your understanding of Japanese culture and better appreciate our cultural affinities.

 

Besides attending these indoor exhibitions, there is also plenty to enjoy outdoors in Tainan’s “month of love” Chihsi Festival. You can join one of our specially arranged “Happiness and Culture Outings”, being guided around local sights and places of interest while enjoying a colourful variety of activities and experiences along the way. There are ten different outings for you to choose from, taking place every Saturday and Sunday throughout the Chihsi Festival month, and each taking in the attractions  of a different district of Tainan. Everyone is welcome to register for these outings, whether alone or with a lover or with family or friends. If you would like something longer than these 3-hour outings, you also have the choice of signing up for any of four one-day package trips (of varying durations, from morning through to mid-afternoon or late evening), specially designed for couples to enjoy the Chihsi holiday together.

 

For art-lovers, there are installation artworks and a feast of music waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. In Blueprint Cultural & Creative Park, for instance, there is an installation artwork of a bridge of magpies, evoking the romantic flavour of the bridge that, as the legend tells, was formed by magpies across the Milky Way so that Niulang the cowherd and Zhinü the weaver girl could meet once a year on Chinese Valentine’s Day.  The park also hosts a creative market and a concert every Saturday afternoon of the festival month, and there are installation art pieces and musical events at Tainan Cultural & Creative Park, Tainan Cultural Center, and other venues around Tainan.

 

If you want a meal that matches the romantic feelings fanned by festival events and displays, you won’t be disappointed. Tainan’s finest hotels and restaurants have collaborated with Yue Lao temples to create the perfect bill of fare for a lovers’ candle-lit dining rendezvous. The Love Chef’s “love cuisine” will delight your taste buds with flavors that perfectly complement the sweetness and joy of the passion blazing  in your heart.

 

And if you’re looking for the perfect gift as a token of affection for a loved one, thoughtful provision has been made for that, too. You can take advantage of many special promotions and discounts on love themed products at participating stores and purveyors in Tainan throughout the festival.