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Photograph by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

In celebration of Valentine’s Day in China tomorrow, Liu Wen tells us all about that holiday and more.

My favorite Valentine’s Day gift…
This is difficult to answer because I’ve never sent or received any gift on Valentine’s Day!

My favorite Chinese Valentine’s Day tradition…
Is from my childhood. When I heard the story behind the holiday, I was sitting outside enjoying the coolness of a summer night. The elderly with us pointed out the Milky Way — in Chinese, it’s known as the Silver River — and the stars on either side. They told us about the legend of the Cowherd and the Girl Weaver and how, once a year, the separated couple meet on a bridge formed from magpies. This is the earliest introduction to love (and also astronomy) for many Chinese children. I miss this tradition — now we all hide ourselves in rooms with air conditioning and you can’t see the Milky Way in a big city.

On this day I will…
Raise my head and look to the sky, try to see the stars or the bridge of magpies and wish that, when the Girl Weaver and Cowherd meet, they will never be parted again.

I live in…
New York. Even though I go to Beijing and Shanghai for work, the cities are three hours from my hometown so I’m not always able to see my parents. We Skype three times a week.

I love reading…
Everything, from Harry Potter in English to the Classics in Chinese.

My style is…
Inspired by movies from the Seventies. I love vintage. My parents do not get vintage!

Beauty is…
What’s on the inside. You have to be friendly and have a good personality. You have to read.

My Chinese zodiac sign…
Dragon — it represents power, nobility and honor in traditional Chinese culture. But I like it also because it’s a sign of luck and success.

More to explore in Beauty


  • Sakai

    Great story Tory. I love reading about other cultures and it’s wonderful to hear how other countries celebrate Valentine’s day. Thanks. Knowledge is power.