About Chinese Valentine's Day

By Fei Gao on Aug 05, 2022

The Qixi Festival is celebrated on every 7th day of the 7th month according to Chinese lunar calendar. The festival is known as the Chinese Valentine's Day. In the past days, girls are the major part of participants of this festival and the main activity during the festival isasking for light hand. Therefore this day is called Qi Qiao Festival or Girls' Festival. It is the most romantic festival among Chinese traditional festivals.
Folklore Story
In ancient China, a young cowherd called Niu lang was an orphan and lived with an old cow. One day he came across a beautiful young lady, Zhinv, the seventh daughter of the Goddess, who was fed up with the boring heaven life and went to the earth for fun. Soon the two youngsters fell in love with each other and got married without the Goddess’s approval.
Zhinv proved to be a wonderful wife and Niu lang to be a very good husband. They lived happily and had 2 adorable sons. However, the Goddess finally found out that her daughter, a fairy girl, had married a mortal. She exploded with rage and orderedthe heaven troopto catch Zhinv back.
On earth, Niu lang was very sad but can do nothing. Suddenly his old cow began to talk and told him that if he kill it and put on its hide, he might be able to go to heaven to find his wife. With great sadness, Niu lang killed the cow and did as what the cow told him with his two sons.
The Goddess knew it and was very annoyed. She took out her hairpin and scratched a wide river in the sky to separate the two lovers forever, thus formingthe Milky Waybetween Altair and Vega.
From then on, Zhinv could only sat on one side of the river and weaved sadly while Niu lang had to forever on the other side of the river and took care of their two children. But the magpies all around the world take pity on them. Every July 7th, they would fly together to form amagpie bridgeover the stars, providing a way for the two lovers to meet for a single night.
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Asking for Good Embroidery Skills
There were many different forms of competitions for ingenuity. Among them, threading multiple-hole needles was the most popular and the oldest dating to the Han Dynasty. Young girls would thread needles with five, seven or even nine holes. The one finished the threading fastest would win.
Since Northern and Southern Dynasties (420 - 589 AD), young girls would catch a spider on the festival day and kept them overnight. In the next morning, the better the web, the handier the owner was predicted to be.
从南北朝(公元420 - 589年)开始,年轻的姑娘们就会在节日这天抓蜘蛛,并把它们在家里放一晚上。第二天早上,蜘蛛结的网越好,预示该女子越心灵手巧。
In Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368–1911 AD), girls would mix river water and well water on the festival, then put needles gently on the surface of the water on the second day. If the shadow of the needle was in other shape instead of straight, it implies the girl had successfully obtained ingenuity.
在明清时期(公元1368 - 1911年),姑娘们会在节日的时候将河水和井水混合,然后在第二天将针轻轻放在水面上。如果针的影子不是直的,而是别的形状,那就说明这位姑娘乞巧成功。
Praying for Good luckon
Marriage and Family
Single women pray for finding a good husband in the future. And the newly married women pray to become pregnant quickly.
Eat Qiaoguo (Qixi Pastry)
Long time ago, there was a young girl who was sympathetic towards Zhinu and Niulang. Every Qixi Festival, she would make some delicate pastries and pray that the two could reunite smoothly. The Jade Emperor was touched by her and ordered Matchmaker to find her a Mr. Right. After, more and more young girls made pastries on that day in hope of their Mr. Right and the custom of eating Qixi pastry formed. Nowadays, Qixi pastries are still popular in Shandong, Shanghai, Shaoxing and some nearby areas.
Celebrate as the Valentine’s Day
As the time past, more and more young people begin to celebrate this day as Chinese Valentine’s Day because of the romantic folklore. Lovers and couples exchange gifts on that Chinese lovers day, and some youngsters like to join traditional activities in ancient Chinese costumes.
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