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The Evolution of Qixi Festival: A Deep Dive into Demographics and Consumer Behaviour in China

The Qixi Festival, often dubbed China's Valentine's Day, is an annual celebration that awakens romantic sentiments and serves as a platform for expressing love. Rooted in ancient folklore, the festival has evolved over the years to incorporate modern forms of affection and communication. In today's digital age, the festival has become a significant event for couples, and even singles, to express their feelings and make consumer choices. This article delves into the changing dynamics of love, consumer behaviour, and the societal trends that surround the Qixi Festival.

The Modernization of an Ancient Tradition

The Qixi Festival has come a long way from its origins, which revolve around the tale of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl. Today, the festival has embraced digital technology, making social media and online platforms new avenues for expressing love. Text messages, images, and emojis have become the digital love letters of our time, capturing moments of affection.

Demographics and Consumer Behavior: A Closer Look

  • Gender and Age Groups

According to iiMedia Research, women constitute 61.89% of those celebrating Qixi, while men make up 38.11%. This gender distribution suggests that women are more actively involved in the festivities. The age group of 31-40 years old is the most active, accounting for 39.12% of participants, followed closely by those aged 26-30 at 35.60%.

  • Marital Status

Interestingly, the majority of participants are married (61.16%), followed by those in relationships but not yet married (25.47%), and finally singles (13.37%). This data indicates that the festival is not just for new love but also serves as an occasion for married couples to rekindle their romance.

  • Consumer Preferences

The research also delves into consumer preferences, revealing that the majority of people are practical in their approach to the festival. They are increasingly focusing on the utility and functionality of gifts, aiming to express deeper levels of care and affection through their choices.

Celebrating Qixi in the Working World

  • Balancing Act

Since Qixi is not a public holiday, most people have to juggle work commitments with celebrations. iiMedia Research shows that a staggering 92.58% of couples choose to celebrate the festival on the day itself, often waiting until after work to begin the festivities. This trend reflects the practicalities of modern life, where people find meaningful yet straightforward ways to celebrate special occasions without disrupting their work schedules.

Source: iiMedia Research

  • After-Work Celebrations

Many couples opt for after-work celebrations, perhaps during dinner or later in the evening. This approach allows them to fully enjoy the festival without the stress of work-life conflict. Some even plan their workday to be lighter, enabling them to celebrate during the daytime.

Gift-Giving Trends: Beyond Materialism

  • What Matters Most

In a society that places significant importance on the ritualistic aspects of festivals, gift-giving has evolved to become more than just a material exchange. According to iiMedia Research, the price is the most crucial factor in choosing a gift, accounting for 61.30% of consumer focus. This is followed by the recipient's preferences at 54.03%, aesthetics at 55.45%, and utility at 47.87%.

Source: iiMedia Research

  • Popular Gift Choices

Digital products, jewelry, and beauty products are the top three choices for gifts. Women tend to prefer home and digital products, while men are more inclined to give flowers, beauty products, and jewelry. These choices reflect the unique preferences of different genders in expressing love and affection.

  • The Rise of Practicality

The data also reveals a rising trend of practicality among modern consumers. People are increasingly focusing on the utility and functionality of gifts, aiming to express deeper levels of care and affection through their choices. This shift indicates a more pragmatic approach to love, where gifts serve as an extension of one's feelings and attentiveness towards their partner.

Source: iiMedia Research

  • The Forgotten Singles

While couples are the focus of Qixi, singles also have their own set of emotions and attitudes towards the festival. Some feel disappointed and lonely, while others enjoy the freedom that comes with being single. The term "single-shaming" has emerged, often used humorously to describe the feeling of being left out during such love-centric festivals.

The Qixi Festival has evolved to become a complex tapestry of modern love, consumer behaviour, and societal norms. It serves as a lens through which we can view the changing dynamics of relationships, from the way love is expressed to how gifts are chosen and how people balance this special day with their professional lives. As the festival continues to adapt to contemporary lifestyles, it remains a significant event that celebrates love in all its multifaceted glory.

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