What to do on Chinese Valentine’s Day?

The Chinese Valentine’s Day (qī xī 七夕) falls on August 20 2015. It is the 7th day of the 7th lunar month so it is also called Chinese Double Seven Festival. It is kind of like the Chinese Version of Romeo and Juliet. Niulang (niú láng 牛郎) and Zhinu ( zhī niú 織女) were forced to separate due to their different identities, which Zhinu was the 7th daughter of the Heaven Emperor and Niulang was just a poor orphaned cowherd.

There are many versions of this love story. Here is the most popular version.

It is also a popular festival for young people. For the married couple and people in love, this day is celebrated like the western Valentine’s Day. For singles, today is a good timing to pray for love luck by paying a visit to the Temple of Matchmaker (yuè xià lǎo rén 月下老人). He has the power to decide the love destiny of people so knowing the SOP when worshiping there is very important.


What to do?

1. Prepare fruit or flowers, which are numbered even like 2 apples or 6 roses. Normally, you could also buy the stuff from the vendors there.

2. Report your name, identity and address to the Matchmaker and then speak up your mind about your ideal type.

3. Ask for the divine answers by throwing the wooden pieces (Taiwanese: 擲筊, literally “throwing poe”). If you get 3 divine answers in a roll, it means you get the promise from the Matchmaker.

4. Put you donation, normally NTD$100, before you leave.


Where to go?

Here list the top 5 temples to worship the Matchmaker in Taiwan. Not only on the Chinese Valentine’s Day, those temples are almost full of love seekers everyday!

 1.Taipei Xia-Hia City God Temple (台北霞海城隍廟)

Due to the high number of residents and tourists in Taipei, this one is the most visited and popular in Taiwan. Even the visitors from Japan and Korea love to come here.

Address: No.61, Sec. 1, Dihua St., Datong Dist., Taipei City
Traffic: Bus 250 or 304 from Taipei Train Station and get off at Yianpin Station (延平一站(南京))
Tel:(02) 2558-0346
Website: http://tpecitygod.org/


2. Tainan Grand Matsu Temple (台南大天后宮)

It has lots of things to talk about this temple, but here we just focus on the role of its Matchmaker. Tainan Grand Matsu Temple has many gods, and Matchmaker is one of them. You will get a red line there and then put it in your pocket. When someday you find that the red line disappears, it is the time that your love comes.

Address: No. 18, Ln. 22, Sec. 2, Yongfu Rd., West Central Dist., Tainan
Traffic: Bus 3, 5, 88, 99 from Tainan Train Station and get off get at Fort Provintia (赤崁樓)
Tel: (06) 2211178
Website: http://www.tainanmazu.org.tw/


3. Tainan Temple of the Martial God (台南武廟)

Though the temple of Matchmaker just occupied a little corner of the whole temple here, it is famous for successful matching of up to 300 couples every year. You have many ways to speak up your mind here, writing a postcard, buying a wish bottle and even writing a letter direct to the Matchmaker.

Address: No. 229, Ln. 22, Sec. 2, Yongfu Rd., West Central Dist., Tainan
Traffic: Bus 3, 5, 88, 99 from Tainan Train Station and get off get at Fort Provintia (赤崁樓)
Tel: (06) 2202390


4. Tainan Chongqing Temple (台南重慶寺)

The Matchmaker here is noted for its ability to mediate love problems. There is a divine vinegar barrel, which helps to resolve love problems after people stir the vinegar in it.


Address: No. 2, Ln. 5, Zhongzheng Rd., West Central Dist., Tainan
Traffic: Bus 88, 99 from Tainan Train Station and get off get at Museum of Taiwan Literature (台南文學館)
Tel: (06) 2202390


5. Taipei Wanhua Longshan Temple (台北萬華龍山寺)

This temple has a long history of 300 years and famous for all the gods in it. The Matchmaker is seated at the left rare site. Due to its huge crowd everyday, every love seeker is asked to take only one red line after worshiping the Matchmaker.

Address: No. 211, Guangzhou St., Wanhua Dist., Taipei
Traffic: 5 mins walking northward from MRT Longshan Temple Station
Tel: (02) 23025162
Website: http://www.lungshan.org.tw/