Chinese Valentine's Day
Chinese Valentine's Day
Tomorrow, the 14th of August 2021 is the Chinese Valentine's Day - Qixi.
The Qixi Festival (simplified Chinese: 七夕节) also known as the Qiqiao Festival (Chinese: 乞巧), is a Chinese festival celebrating the annual meeting of the cowherd and weaver girl in mythology. The festival is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh lunisolar month on the Chinese calendar.
The general tale is a love story between Zhinü (织女, the weaver girl, symbolizing Vega) and Niulang (牛郎, the cowherd, symbolizing Altair).
Niulang was an orphan who lived with his brother and sister-in-law. He was often abused by his sister-in-law. They eventually kicked him out of the house and gave him nothing but an old cow.
One day, the old cow suddenly spoke out, telling Niulang that a fairy will come and that she is the heavenly weaver. It said the fairy will stay here if she fails to go back to heaven before morning. In accordance with what the old cow said, Niulang saw the beautiful fairy and fell in love with her, then they got married.
The emperor of heaven (玉皇大帝, lit. 'The Jade Emperor') found out about this and was furious, so he sent minions to escort the heavenly weaver back to heaven. Niulang was heartbroken and decided to chase after them. However, the Queen Mother of the West drew a Silver River (The Milky Way) in the sky and blocked his way. Meanwhile, the love between Niulang and the weaver moved the magpie, and they built a bridge of magpies over the Silver River for them to meet.
The Emperor of Heaven was also moved by the sight, and allowed this couple to meet on the Magpie Bridge, once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. That was the origin of the Qixi Festival.
Due to the romance, elegance, and beautiful symbolic meaning of the festival, many pieces of literature, such as poems, popular songs, and operas, have been written for this festival since the Zhou Dynasty.
Many describe the atmosphere of the festival or narrate related stories. This has left a valuable literary legacy that helps modern scholars better understand ancient Chinese customs, feelings, and opinions relating to the festival.
Everyone will meet a person who makes you feel
"Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss. But every once in a while you find someone who's iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare."
- From <Flipped (2010 film)>
Have a nice and romantic Valentine's Day, my friends.