Some courts in Beijing are now recognizing Valentine's Day by avoiding divorce case hearings, the local newspaper Legal Mirror reported.
"Nowadays, Valentine's Day is widely celebrated in China, and divorce on this 'day of love' could be hurtful," the newspaper cited Gao Zhi, a judge at the Xicheng District Court, as saying.
"We didn't arrange the sessions of any divorce cases on Thursday, which is courtesy, rather than a policy," said Yu Lihua, a senior female judge in charge of divorces at the Shijingshan District Court.
The reason for the practice, according to Yu, is that the majority of the judges presiding over divorce proceedings are young people who take the Valentine's Day seriously.
Also, Yu said, many couples filing for divorce are not willing to go to court on the special day.
Gao Zhi recalled that a couple who applied for divorce before the Spring Festival, upon being informed that the hearing could be held on Thursday, asked to put it off until Friday.
Applications for divorce are also rare on Valentine's Day.
At Dongcheng District Court, for example, no divorce applications were filed on Valentine's Day from 2004 to 2007.
This year, only one man filed for divorce on the holiday, claiming that his wife is having an affair. On Wednesday, by contrast, the court accepted seven divorce petitions.
(CRI February 15, 2008)