The seventh day of the seventh lunar month is the only Chinese festival devoted to the love in the lunar calendar. Unlike Valentine’s Day in Western countries, there is no much emphasis on giving flowers, chocolates and kisses. Instead of that, the Chinese girls pray to Zhi Nu, the weaving maiden by preparing sweets, melons, fruits and perfumes as offerings. They pray her to acquire high skills in needlecraft, as well as for finding their husbands. People sit outside to observe the stars in the evening.
What are the common beliefs of Chinese people regarding Chinese Valentine’s Day?
The Chinese Valentine’s Day is also known as Daughter’s Festival. The Chinese girls always wanted to have good handcrafting skills like the Weaving Maid. This skill is essential for their future family. During the night of Chinese Valentine’s Day, spinsters can pray to the Weaving Maid star to make them smarter. When the star Vega is high in the sky, the girls do a test, which involves placing a needle on the water surface. If the needle does not sink in the water, the girl is already smart enough and she is perfectly eligible for a married life. Girls may request for any wish to the Weaving Maid, but only once in a year.
How is Valentine’s Day celebrated in China?
In some regions of China, people believe that the decoration of flowers on the Horn of Ox during the Chinese Valentine’s Day can prevent them from catastrophe. Women wash their hair to make it more attractive and shiny on the night of Valentine’s Day. Girls throw five-color ropes, made by the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, on top of the roof for magpies. It is believed that Magpies will use the ropes to build the bridge.
When is Chinese Valentine’s Day celebrated?
Chinese Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month in the Chinese calendar. The legend behind this celebration was the love between the 7th daughter of the Emperor of Heaven and an orphan cowherd. The Emperor of the Heaven forced the 7th daughter to move to the star Vega and the cowherd boy to the star Altair. They are allowed to meet only once in a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month.
What is the story behind Chinese Valentine’s Day?
The story says that there was a good-looking poor orphan boy living with his older brother and sister. After the death of his parents, his brother occupied the house and land. The boy owned an old ox. He had to work on the farm with the ox every day. Thus, he was called a cowherd.
The ox was actually from Heaven. He had done mistakes in the Heaven and was punished as an ox to Earth. One day, ox suddenly told the boy that the cowherd boy is a beautiful person and if he wants to marry, he should go to the river and his wish will be fulfilled. The cowherd went to the river and saw all 7 beautiful girls of the Emperor of Heaven descended from the heaven and took a bath in his country. Attracted by the youngest and the most beautiful girls, he took away the clothes of the fairy secretly. The other six fairies disappeared after the bath. The youngest could not fly without her fairy clothing. Then the cowherd boy came and told her that he would not return her clothes unless if she promise to marry him. After a little hesitation and shyness, she accepted the proposal of the handsome boy. So, they married and had two children.
The Emperor felt that the sky is not as beautiful as before without his 7th daughter as she weaves beautiful clouds and rainbows. He wanted his mother in law to find the missing girl and bring her back. When the grandmother took the 7th princess to heaven, the cowboy chased after his wife in the sky by wearing the ox hide and taking his children in two bamboo baskets with the old fairy clothes of his wife. The grandmother made a Milky Way in the sky with her hairpin to separate them. The 7th princess was moved to the star Vega in the constellation Lyra. And the cowherd with his two children stayed at the star Altair in the constellation Aquila. The star of Vega is also known as the Weaving Maid Star. The star Altair is known as Cowherd Star in China.
Magpies were moved by their true love and many of them joined together to form a bridge for the couple to meet on the evening of the 7th day of the 7th lunar month which is the day the Emperor allowed them to meet a every year.