Chinese Valentine's Day is celebrated in or around Ghost Month.  What connection is there between the two?  Are most spouses like ghosts within their marriage?

   The legend behind Chinese Valentine's Day is about a cowboy and weaving girl who fell in love.  The Emperor of Heaven decided that as their punishment, these two lovers had to be separated and could only meet once a year.  The meaning behind this legend and holiday is that when people become emotional (e.g. fall in love), this causes them to shirk their responsibility and not keep their position (including their ethical relationships).  The ancients felt that because your work supports you, it is more important than love or emotion.  We modern people have turned this thinking on its head, so now we are less constant in our work and in our relationships.  It's relatively easy to find work these days and easy to meet people, but for the ancients, it was much harder to meet people.  There are many more opportunities in our life now, but our attitude is different toward expressing our emotions.  The legend of the cowboy and the weaving girl was a warning of sorts to the ancients.

   Chinese Ghost Month falls within Ghost Month each year because it reflects a negative type of thinking.  The weather at this time of year (generally August or September in the solar calendar) becomes cooler, so people have more romantic feelings as well as stronger and special feelings.  This time of year is when the year divides into two points, so there are strong transitional forces.  Your feelings about other people are stronger at this time of year, so there is bound to be much confusion.  After a person becomes 30, he becomes clearer about things, especially about emotions and relationships.  You need to have emotions and relationships for your life to have meaning.  Once you are 30, you realize you can't just waste your life away.

  The ancients celebrated Chinese Valentines Day in Ghost Month as an opportunity to see that you shouldn't waste the year or your life.  It's not specifically about love and romance, but more about making more of your life.  In other words, it reminds you not to be locked up by your mind.

   Many spouses are like ghosts in their marriage relationships.  These marriages are not true relationships because the spouses differ so much in their levels and ability.  When this happens, a marriage turns into an ethical relationship and does not have much of a romantic dimension.  Modern people rush to get married, but later regret it when they understand what they've gotten into:  a personal hell.  In the past, marriage was necessary for society to continue, so most weddings were arranged.  Nowadays the survival of society does not depend as much on marriage, so modern people approach marriage looking for a complete "love" feeling.  In the past, Chinese people were patient and willing to tough out bad marriages, but now in Taipei 1/3 of marriages end in divorce when the fun ends.  A good marriage requires a balance between the spouses.  

   Past generations accepted societal pressure to get married and focused on having many children.  In this type of marriage, communication and romance are not so important.  Nowadays, however, communication and romance are much more highlighted.  When you have many many children, you can't be a 'person' (dzwo ren): you are more like a breeding animal  


Chi Kung Culture Society of TAIPEI