The Qixi Festival (七夕节), also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day, is an ancient Chinese festival celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It is one of China's most important traditional festivals and is now celebrated by multiple Asian countries.
History Of The Qixi Festival
The festival originated in the Han Dynasty, with a history of over 2,000 years.
The Qixi Festival, also known as Qiqiao Festival or Qijie Festival, originated in the Han Dynasty. The earliest recorded mention of the festival can be found in Ge Hong's "Xijing Miscellaneous Notes" from the Eastern Jin Dynasty. During this romantic night, girls placed seasonal fruits under the bright moon, praying for intelligence and skilled hands in their knitting. They also worshipped the goddess for beautiful love and marriage. Couples would pray to the starry sky for a happy marriage.
The Fairy Tale
The Qixi festival is associated with an old Chinese fairy tale of the lovers NiuLang (the Cowherd) and ZhiNu (the Weaver Maid). According to the legend, they were forcefully separated by ZhiNu's mother, a goddess of the heavens, and were placed on opposite sides of the Milky Way. The stars Vega and Altair represent the couple. They are allowed to reunite only on the night of Qixi, with the help of magpies that form a bridge across the Milky Way.
On the night of the Qixi Festival, it is believed that one can see the meeting of Vega and Altair stars in the Milky Way, and hear the whispering of the two lovers meeting in the sky.
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