In fact, in ancient China, the Lantern Festival is the real Valentine's day. In ancient China, unmarried young women can't go out at will, let alone date men, so-called to be married boudoir. In ancient Chinese society, unmarried young women had only two opportunities to appear in public, one was the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, and the other was the Shangsi Festival on March 3.
Scene of Lantern Festival in Ming Dynasty drawn by Qing Dynasty
It's a common sense since ancient times that a man should marry a woman. Shangsi Festival on March 3 of the lunar calendar is actually a chance to make a date, and it's also recognized by the government. According to Zhouli, "in the middle of spring, men and women will make a meeting.". Then, the runner couldn't help it. The so-called "runner" can't help but mean that on March 3, young men and women go outing in the wild, talk to each other and admire each other, which will not be regarded as a matter of vulgarity.
On March 3 of the lunar calendar, it's the day when grass grows and birds fly and flowers bloom in spring. On this day, young men and women go outing in the wild and meet and talk with each other. It's easy to have love stories, as the Tang poetry says: 'March 3 is a new day, and there are many beautiful people near the water in Chang'an. '
The custom of Shangsi festival also spread to Korean Peninsula, Japanese archipelago and Ryukyu Islands. However, in song and Ming Dynasties, due to the rise of Neo Confucianism, the ban of boudoir became more and more severe. Women generally did not dare to go to the field on Shangsi Festival. Even if they did, men and women did not dare to meet each other. Therefore, Shangsi festival culture gradually declined.
Shangsi festival in ancient Korean Peninsula
In the song and Ming Dynasties, young unmarried women could only go out on a date on the night of the 15th day of the first month by virtue of a lamp. As Xin Qiji said in the new year's eve of the jade case, "the people look for him. Suddenly looking back, the man is in the place where the lights are dim. '
In ancient China, there were curfews at midnight, but on the 15th day of the first month, there were few curfews, because there were all kinds of entertainment activities.
On the night of the 15th day of the first month, it is the best time for young men and women to get to know each other and meet to have a love story. Qu you, a scholar of the Ming Dynasty, said: 'every new year's Eve, light up in Mingzhou for five nights. All the scholars and women in the city have to make a general survey. Every year on the 15th day of the first month, all the talented and beautiful people in Mingzhou (Ningbo prefecture) come out to enjoy the lights.
Lantern Festival in Ming Dynasty
On the 15th day of the first month, if the weather is clear and the sky is full of stars and moons, it will be beautiful with thousands of lights.
Ouyang Xiu met a woman on the night of the 15th day of the first month of last year. He kept thinking about it. He wanted to see her again on the 15th day of the first month of this year, but she didn't come, so he exclaimed: 'on the first night of this year, the moon and the lamp are still there. I don't see last year's man, tears wet the sleeves of spring shirt. '
For men in ancient China, Lantern Festival is not only a chance to get rid of the single, but also a chance to marry a wife. Especially in the song and Ming Dynasties, with the rise of Neo Confucianism, women attached great importance to the famous festival. Once they agreed with each other, they lost their first chance to choose again, so they had to marry with each other. Even if they were not very satisfied with their first love, it was difficult to do so again Married.