Love, Lanterns, and Lechery

Friday was Valentine’s Day and Lantern Festival. Apparently this auspicious day happens but once every nineteen years when the dates align on the Lunar and Solar calendars. People get married, lovers go out gallivanting, kids eat sticky rice balls called Tang Yuan and Yuan Xiao, people split time between their special someone and their mom and dad, and then in the evening send paper lanterns floating into the heavens, trying to secure good fortune from their ancestors.

One of the stories goes—surprised that there’s a story…anyone? Didn’t think so—that way back during the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history, around 220-280 A.D., there was a great military tactician known as Zhu Ge Liang, or by his formal name, Kong Ming, who launched lanterns into the sky in order to get messages across to his people. Men in ancient China had two names they were known by: their “ming” or common name and the “zi” which was their formal name they received when they were twenty, but in modern Mandarin we think of “Mingzi” just as given name. Girls only got the “zi” when they were fifteen, the age of marriage. Anyway, that’s why the lanterns today are known as Kong Ming Deng, after his “Zi.”

Then, during the Qing Dynasty there’s a story about how the people of a village let lanterns fly to signal that bandits had left and the village was safe. As the years passed, traditions evolved and that’s why folks launch them still.

Ah, yes. The ancient Chinese tradition of huddling around the Sacred Golden Arches and engaging in floating arson bombs.
Ah, yes. The ancient Chinese tradition of huddling around the Sacred Golden Arches and launching floating arson bombs.
"I hope it lands on my ex."
“I hope it lands on my ex.”
Ancestors, give my vengeance wings.
Ancestors, give my vengeance wings.

photo(36)

Then, during the Qing Dynasty there’s a story about how the people of a village let lanterns fly to signal that bandits had left and the village was safe. As the years passed, traditions evolved and that’s why folks launch them still.

And we all know the story of the Western holiday, Valentine’s Day, right? On a cold February 14 in Chicago back in 1929 a group of Al Capone’s men, two dressed as cops, gunned down seven of his competition’s men, in broad daylight, thus prompting card companies to adopt the color red and a Tommy-gun toting cherub in a fedora as their mascot (Chicagotribune.com, except for the cherub part…).

(Not exactly the Valentine Card I was expecting…

Broklynbeforenow.blogspot)

Well…It may have been inspired by other things, too…

Enough of history.

Xiao Ming showed me some jokes that are circulating the Chinese net on this auspicious day. I’ve written before about the “Second Wives” of Chinese business men (here: https://ourchinaexperiment.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/women-wives-and-wandering-willys/ ), but I’m not the only one. In China, Xiao Sans and their Sugar Daddies are joked about openly, or at least quasi-openly since it’s on the web. Here are two jokes, translated by Xiao Ming and me.

再过几天就是小三和正房抢一个男人的日子,是多少地下党浮出水面的日子,是玫瑰花升值的日子,更是大造活人的好日子!下午四点,花店的老板笑了;傍晚六 点,饭店的老板笑了;晚九点,夜总会经理笑了;子夜,宾馆的老板笑了;明天,药店的老板笑了;一月后,妇科医院医生护士都笑了。/憨笑/憨笑/憨笑提前祝 大家情人节快乐!

情人节时间安排表:          7:00偷偷起床,躲到洗手间给情人发个短信          7:30给老婆煮好面条          8:00去市场买菜,再买100支玫瑰          9:00给情人送99支玫瑰          9:30回家给老婆1支玫瑰          11:00做中饭          12:00陪父母过元宵节          17:00陪情人去吃西餐,简单亲热一下          19:00约老婆到附近餐厅吃饭,看场电影          22:00给老婆倒杯水,加5片安眠药,然后陪老婆睡觉          24:00悄悄起床          0:30到情人家,严重亲热一下          8:00回到家给老婆做早点然后喊老婆起床吃饭!这就过去了!

First one: In two day, xiao sans and wives will fight for the same guy. Secrets will be revealed, roses double or triple in price, and many more people will be produced. At 4 pm managers of flower stores will smile. At 6 pm restaurant managers will smile. At 9 pm bar managers will smile. At midnight hotel managers will smile. And the next day pharmacy managers will smile.

Second: Schedule For Valentine’s Day

7 am: Send text to lover while in shower.

7:30 am: Make wife breakfast.

8:00 So to store, buy 100 roses.
9:00 Give 99 roses to lover.
9:30 Back home give one rose to wife.
11:00 Make lunch.
12:00 Accompany parents for lantern’s day.
17:00 Western restaurant with lover.
19:00 Take wife to a restaurant nearby home then watch movie.
22:00 Give wife a cup of water with 5 sleeping pills inside, go to bed.
24:00 Get up quietly.
0:30 Home of lover, get it on.
8:00 Next day back home, make breakfast wake up wife.

Whoever you’re spending your time with, take care and have fun this weekend.

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