The Qixi festival is celebrated on the evening of the 7th day of the 7th month in accordance with the Chinese lunar calendar. Like Valentine’s Day in the western world, Qixi is the Chinese festival of the lovers.💕 In this article, you can read about the legend behind the romantic holiday and how it is celebrated.
After the death of his parents, a shepherd boy (Niulang) lived in the house of his sister-in-law, who eventually abandoned the orphan. Niulang, therefore, led a hard life full of sacrifice for his cattle. Over time, a fairy fell in love with the boy and she eventually came to earth, where they both got married. While he cultivated the field and tended the cattle, the fairy was weaving in the house. Their happiness was made perfect by the birth of a son and a daughter.
Then, the father of the fairy, the heavenly emperor heard about the marriage and sent his wife to earth to bring his daughter back. Niulang followed the mother and daughter on a cow, but the heavenly emperor drew a river in the sky with a golden hairpin, which the mortal could not cross. From then on the lovers were separated and faced each other with tears in their eyes on the banks of the river.
They received help from the magpies that, moved by the mourning of the two, built a bridge over the river in the sky on which they could meet. The heavenly empress also showed mercy and allowed the couple to meet once a year, namely on the seventh day of the seventh month of the Chinese calendar on this magpie-bridge.
How to Celebrate
There are different ways to celebrate Qixi:
- Try to discover the two lovers in the night sky: The stars Vega and Altair in our Milky Way represent the couple.
- Prove your handicraft skills: The heavenly fairy was a master weaver. Something homemade or knitted is the perfect gift for this day.
- Plan a romantic date: This is the day you want to spend with your significant other. Have a romantic picnic or a stroll along the water. Throughout the whole year, the stars are not as favourable as today.