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Miao Valentine’s Day: Silver Jewelry And Food Gifting

By David Cheng

Gifting flowers and chocolates is the typical way to celebrate Valentine’s day in most parts of the world. But, not everyone across the globe celebrate it in the same way.

However, there is one ethnic people whose own Valentine’s Day is much older and
more distinctive than the one that we are celebrating today.

Living in deep mountains of southern China, the people of Miao is probably one of the most unique ethnic minorities in the country. Hidden from the modern world, it produces some of China’s best silver artisans, embroiderers, as well as batik artists.

First and most interesting, they don’t write love letters. Down through history, the ethnic group had no written language until only a few decades ago.

Second, it’s the girls who usually make the first move. In demographic terms, Miao men have a much smaller proportion than women.

Miao’s Valentine’s Day comes on March 13 each year on the Chinese lunar calendar. Girls get up early that day and go to nearby hills to pick flowers. The flowers are then used as coloring agents for the rice balls they are going to gift their dear ones. This way, the food can look pleasing to eyes and tasty to the taste buds. Usually there are five colors with different meanings: green pays tribute to their hometown, red indicates prosperity of their village, yellow symbolizes good harvest, blue stands for wealth, and white, a pure love for lifetime.

Early next day, the girl invites her dear one to catch fish. In the afternoon, they purchase a duck together in local bazaar. Both of the animals are symbols of love and wealth.

In the evening, after the young man change clothes, he comes to the house of the girl and dine with her families. This allows the family to know better of their future son-in-law.

After the meal, the two go out to sing riddle songs. As the air of romance grows, the young man gifts the girl a piece of silver jewelry with symbols of love, and they make a engagement.

D. Cheng enjoys sharing his knowledge of Chinese silver jewelry. To discover handmade silver jewels by the Miao tribe, visit his website about Chinese silver jewelry here.

Article kindly provided by

Topics: Women | Comments Off


Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Cheng, David "Miao Valentine’s Day: Silver Jewelry And Food Gifting." Miao Valentine’s Day: Silver Jewelry And Food Gifting. 12 Jul. 2010. 27 Jun 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Cheng, D (2010, July 12). Miao Valentine’s Day: Silver Jewelry And Food Gifting. Retrieved June 27, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Cheng, David "Miao Valentine’s Day: Silver Jewelry And Food Gifting"

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