Valentine's Day casts warm glow over lovers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 February, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 February, 2004, 12:00am

Hugging each other in front of a giant lantern, there was nothing but love in the eyes of Ricky Wai and Yee Nga last night as they celebrated Chinese Valentine's Day.

Yesterday was the 15th day of the lunar year - which also marks the Spring Lantern Festival. It is traditionally a time for lovers because in ancient China, the lantern festival was the only occasion young women were allowed outside the family home to meet young men.

Ricky and Nga spent the evening soaking up the lantern light at a carnival at the Ko Shan Theatre. It was one of three carnivals organised by the government.

And if they needed an excuse to cuddle, yesterday was also the coldest Spring Lantern Festival on record, at 7.8 degrees Celsius, according to the Observatory. It broke the record of 8.9 degrees on February 14, 1957.

This year's Valentine's Day was doubly romantic for the 112 couples who tied the knot in the city.

Every three to four years, the first day of spring occurs twice in one year on the lunar calendar. Years of 'double spring' - such as the Year of the Monkey - are considered auspicious for weddings.

But fung shui master Edwin Ma Lai-wah said the belief that a double-spring year was good for marriage was a misconception.

He said every year was a good year to wed. 'It depends on whether the couple's birthday matches their wedding date,' he said.

He said the third, fourth and 11th months of the Lunar calendar this year were good for marriage.