Many countries have their own way to celebrate the Valentine’s Day. As for Chinese custom, we have Qixi festival for the lovers. It’s on the 7th day of the 7th Chinese lunar month. In 2017 that is August 28.
It comes from a romantic legend about weaving maid and the cowherd.
As the story goes, Niulang (牛郎) was a cowherd who was an orphan living with his brother and sister-in-law. However, his sister-in-law disliked him and mistreated him, which force Niulang leave with an old ox.
One day, the ox talked to him that there are young goddesses bathed in the sacred pond near Niulang’s cottage and the most beautiful girl in the universe, Zhinv (織女), would be his wife. The two fell in love at first sight and were soon married.
However, Zhinv was renowned not only for her beauty but for her skills as a weaver and seamstress as well. She was also the granddaughter of the Jade Emperor(玉皇大帝). When the Jade Emperor found out that his granddaughter had married a mortal. He ordered the Empress to fetch Zhinv. Niulang came home and found his wife had been taken away. He immediately took their kids to catch up the Empress.
The Empress became angry when she saw Niulang and his children. She slashed across the sky with her hairpin and a raging river flowed in the heavens. This created the Heavenly River (天河) , which separated the lovers.
Niulang and his children could only weep bitterly. Moved by their sorrow, the Jade Emperor turned them into stars and allowed them to meet once each year via a bridge made from magpies (喜鵲).
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