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English>>Life & Culture

Delivering love, express

By Wei Xi (Global Times)

09:06, August 23, 2012

Now is the time for love, or at least Qixi Festival, the Chinese Valentine's Day, which falls today. On the Chinese lunar calendar, the seventh day of the seventh month used to be a time when young women hoped for domestic skills and art, particularly weaving.

The festival is based on a traditional Chinese legend that on one night each year, Zhi Nü, a weaver and daughter of the Emperor of Heaven, is allowed to meet her husband Niu Lang, a mortal and cowherd, on the Milky Way.

As these stories have been told and retold, meanings have become blurred. But most people simply use this tradition to spend a romantic day together and demonstrate their love to their sweetheart.

As surprises are irresistible for men and women, special occasions like Qixi are a great time to purchase a creative gift for your significant other.

Live fireflies

If you live in the bustling metropolis, you can still imagine a peaceful, countryside night with your partner, with fireflies dancing around you.

On China's popular online shopping website taobao.com, live fireflies have become recent hot items. Fireflies are sold by the number, though each shop may set a minimum requirement of 20 fireflies.

Each firefly costs about four yuan ($0.63). These delightful insects are sold in a box packed with leaves.

A seller based in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province told the Global Times that fireflies can survive for about a week, without having anything to eat or drink, as long as the temperature remains about 25 degrees Celsius.

The company transports the fireflies by coach, to ensure that customers receive the fireflies within two days. For remote cities, delivery may take up to three days. Some sellers give an additional 10 percent fireflies, in case some die along the way.

To ensure the longest lifespan for your fireflies, do not put the box directly under the sun or in a place with no light at all. Fireflies perform at their peak from 8pm to 12pm, and sellers suggest that customers release them immediately.

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