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In China, people celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, but there are at least three holidays and cultural traditions centered on romantic love. A figure that ties together these other holidays is the Old Man Under the Moon – Yuexia Laoren in Mandarin, or Yuelao for short – who is believed to be a divine matchmaker.

In many cultures across the world, including China, parents traditionally arranged their children’s marriages, and love was not necessarily their main concern. In pre-modern China, daughters had little say over their marriage partners. Moreover, they were seen as belonging more to their future husbands’ families than to their birth families. Under these conditions, unmarried girls would pray to the Old Man Under the Moon for a happy marriage.

Megan Bryson, associate professor of religious studies and a scholar of Chinese religious history, shares her expertise on divine matchmakers in Chinese mythology. Read the full article at The Conversation.

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Cindi King (865-974-0937,