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Send in the clowns

By Xu Lin (China Daily)

16:54, August 23, 2012

Cao Chengwei delivers flowers in a clown suit and performs tricks at a Beijing supermarket, for a customer. (Jiang Dong / China Daily)

When you have not one, but two special days for lovers in a year, you need to get really creative to surprise your beloved one. Xu Lin reports.

Xiang Yingxia was surprised at work recently by a man dressed in a clown suit and sporting a red nose. He presented her with a bouquet of red roses, and it was only then that she realized that her boyfriend had sent her a gift for her birthday, by special delivery. Cao Chengwei, 24, the clown with the red nose, had more tricks up his sleeve.

While Xiang's colleagues gathered to watch the delightful scene unfolding, Cao placed a red, heart-shaped sponge into her right hand, and told her to clench tight. When Xiang slowly opened her palm again, there were two little red hearts in her hands.

"That means you and your boyfriend's hearts will always be together," Cao announced.

"It's such a happy surprise! I like it because it's very creative," the delighted Xiang, 24, said.

As an increasing number of Chinese celebrate Qixi on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month today, Xiang will not be the only lady surprised by such happy messengers. Flower shop owners all across the country have come up with special services to deliver more than flowers, already regarded as the best expressions of love on a Chinese festival devoted to lovers.

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