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Heart of the holidays

Updated: 2016-02-15 11:19
By Raymond Zhou (China Daily)

Observers of such matters are fortunate to be living in this day and age when normal transformation, including the ebb and flow of the old way of counting giving way to the new, is accelerated so drastically. It is also fascinating to see a new holiday like Nov 11 gaining traction in such a short time.

If it were not given the push by e-commerce, it would have languished on college campuses.

And it is a bit sad to see the Chinese Lovers' Day struggling for relevance.

Who's to blame? It was built on a beautiful but heartbreaking tale of endless pining but little fulfillment. Which pair of lovers would want to see each other only once a year a la Cowherd and Weaving Maid, the lovers in the origin story?

When it comes to the eventual outcome, practicality usually trumps all other concerns.

Laws can help, such as the three traditional festivals of Tomb Sweeping, Dragon Boat and Mid-Autumn gaining legal status in 2008 and giving every Chinese citizen a day off, but laws cannot push what people have no feelings for.

So, the celebration or boycott of imported holidays-or homegrown ones, for that matter-should be no cause for worry. If they are irrelevant, no amount of media hype will change the public's mind; and if they are embraced, there must be an innate need which they happen to satisfy.

Since we have no global Qin Shihuang to impose one system upon every country, we can always rely on a dual approach by which we share with the outside world on one hand but preserve our own ways of life on the other. Lovers need every excuse for joyeuse fete, and two sets of lovers' days do not look crowded on any calendar.

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