Foreigners in Han Chinese clothing celebrate Qixi Festival


Foreigners in Han Chinese Clothing.

[InKunming--KunmingQixi Festival, also known as Qiqiao festival, is a Chinese tradition originated from Han Dynasty and celebrated on every 7th day of the 7th month of Chinese lunar calendar. Girls usually ask for light hands in the past days, however, the festival is known as Chinese Valentine’s Day today. 

On August 7, 14 foreigners from 7 countries were invited to No. 88 Theater on Nanqiang Street to attend the activity, Qiqiao Celebration, organized by Kunming Information Hub under the framework of Unveiling Yunnan. People from the US, Germany, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Tunisia and Ivory Coast spent the Qixi Festival with Chinese friends and felt the charm of Chinese culture.


Foreign friends attended the activity.

This event was sponsored by Kunming Information Hub, and co-organized by Yunnan Han Chinese Clothing Association, Nanqiang Street No. 88 Theater, Kunming Federation of Literary and Art Circles and Kunming Institute of Literature and Art. With the aim of presenting Chinese culture and customs to foreigners, the event tried to remind people that the Qixi Festival is not only a Chinese Valentine’s Day, but also a festival for girls to ask for light hands.

Celebrate Qixi Festival and learn Chinese culture

Dino Constantin from the US shared his thoughts about the Qixi festival before the event. He believed that Qixi is Chinese Valentine’s Day, which is not much different from the one celebrated in the US on February 14. He said he was interested in learning more about how Chinese people celebrate the festival in the traditional way, rather than just giving flower, candies or other gifts like Americans do.




Foreigners made up and worn Han Chinese Clothing.

“I like Chinese culture, therefore I’m here. Chinese traditional culture is broad and profound, which has some similarities with Bangladeshi culture.” Amina Ahmed, from Bangladesh, talked about her thoughts of Qixi. Pohela Falgun (meaning the first day of spring), is Bangladeshi valentine’s day. Amina introduced that girls usually dress up to celebrate with their loved ones. “My boyfriend and I want to deepen my understanding of Chinese culture and discover the similarities and differences between Chinese and Bangladeshi cultures.”

Michael from Germany asked questions about the festival, for example, “why Chinese people celebrate Qixi”, and ”how to celebrate Qixi”. He was full of curiosity and interest in Chinese culture. He said, “I believe it would be a worthwhile trip to attend this event.”


 Girls in Han Chinese Clothing. Photo provided by a netizen.

Wear Han Chinese Clothing and appreciate dance of sleeve shaking

14 foreigners, with the help of the members of Yunnan Han Chinese Clothing Association, put on the Han Chinese Clothing (Hanfu). Four girls, Ilef Ben Abbes, Salma Dabbar, and Asma Mestiri (from Tunisia) and Joelle Abro (from Ivory Coast) tucked up their hair with Chinese hairpins. They took selfies and had facetime with families when dressed up.“Just like a traditional Chinese woman now.”Ilef said.


Sword dance. Photo provided by a netizen.


Traditional Chinese performance.


Traditional Chinese dance. Photo provided by a netizen,

In No.88 Theater, the elegant traditional Chinese music brought audience a feeling of being in the past time. Guzheng (a 21-or 25-stringed plucked instrument), Pipa (lute), sleeve shaking dance, sword dance and other Chinese performance were given by beautiful girls in traditional clothes. Charles, a Nepali man, took a lot of photos to record the moments while his German friend Michael praised the wonderful dance.


Appreciate the show.


Appreciate Chinese handicraft.

In addition to appreciating programs, Ilef, Salma, Asma and Joelle also visited the night market on Nanqiang street together. They were attracted by Chinese traditional handicrafts such as hairpins, fans, rouge boxes and earrings. 


Kabir and Ayesha are singing Bangladeshi love songs.

Perform Bangladeshi love songs and play needle threading

Kabir Md Alamgir and his wife Begum Ayesha are from Bangladesh. They dressed in Han Chinese clothing and sang Onek Sadhonar Pora Ami, a Bangladeshi love song. They introduced their life in Yunnan in fluent Chinese. 


 Chinese audiences were enjoying the show given by foreign friends.

“We are both PhD students at Yunnan University. We like Chinese culture, so we come here to attend this festival.” Kabir said. They have been living in Kunming for 8 months. Pleasant climate, beautiful scenery and friendly people made them decide to bring their kid to Kunming. 


 Ayesha is threading needles.


Beautiful Chinese girl in Han Chinese Clothing. Photo provided by a netizen.

After the performance, there was a needle threading competition. Ayesha thread 7 needles carefully and won the competition.


Foreign friends were enjoying the show.

The column Unveiling Yunnan of Kunming Information Hub has been held four offline activities so far, including Dian Cuisine Tasting Party, Pu’er Tea Tasting Party, Zongzi Making Activity and Qiqiao Celebration. There will be more interesting activities for foreigners in Kunming to experience the charm of Yunnan and Kunming. Welcome to join us!

Click here to view Chinese report

(Editors: Christine, Rachel)

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