Chinese Valentine’s Day
It is Chinese Valentine’s Day today. The festival falls on the seventh day of seventh lunar month. It is also called the Double Seventh Festival or Qi Xi in Chinese. In China it is what Valentine’s Day to the western countries.
In the late dacades, with the influences of foreign tradition, Feb 14 and Double Seventh Day are now popular among Chinese young people. China now has two Valentine’s Days a year.
The Origin of Chinese Valentine Day
The legend has been handed down for nearly 2 millennia. The story has been recorded as far back as the Jin Dynasty (256-420 AD).
It is said that there was a boy. He inherited a cow after his parents passed away, while his elder brother and sister in law took the house and the land. He was ill-treated by his sister in low. He was sent work on the farm field with his cows very early in the morning everyday and can’t come back till it was dark. So he was called Niu Lang (cowherd). His daily life was just like a Cinderella. Later he was kicked out together with the cow from the house. He and his cow had to reclaim the lands to make a living.
The 7th daughter of Emperor is good at handcrafting, especially weaving. She was called Zhi Nv( Weaving Maid). She weaves clouds and rainbows to beautify the sky. She and her six sisters came down for a bath in a river on the Earth.
Niu Lang’s cow was actually an immortal from the Heaven. He was punished to be a cow on for a mistake.
One day he suddenly spoke to the cowherd and told him how to get a wife. He guided the cowherd and led him to the river where the seven beautiful daughters of the Emperor of Heaven had come for a bath. Niu Lang was fascinated by the beauty of the youngest daughter, Zhi Nv. He took away her fairy clothes secretly. The other six fairies went away after bath. The youngest couldn’t fly back without her fairy clothes. Then the cowherd appeared and told her he would return her clothes if she promised to be his wife. She agreed to marry handsome man. So they married and had two children two years later.
The Queen of the Heave was mad when he found his Zhi Nv got married with a human. She took Zhi Nv back to the Heaven. While his wife was flying back with the Queen, Niu Lang wore shoes made from the cow’s hide (which the cow told him to keep for emergency when he died), took his children in two bamboo baskets with his wife’s old fairy clothes and chased after his wife in the sky. When Niu Lang almost caught up with them, the Queen used her hairpin and made a milky way to keep them separated. Zhi Nv was moved to the star Vega in the Lyra constellation. And the cowherd with his two children stayed in the star Altair in the Aquila constellation. The star of Vega is also known as the Weaving Maid Star and the star of Altair is as the Cowherd Star in China.
Magpies were moved by their true love and many of them gathered together to form a bridge for the couple to meet in the evening of the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, which is the day the Emperor allowed them to meet once a year.