Valentine’s Day in China: The Qixi Festival

Valentine’s Day, as we know it, will be celebrated on February 14th. Many couples surprise themselves on this day with romantic love evidence and exquisite gifts. The Chinese counterpart will be celebrated only a few months later: the so-called Qixi festival. In German this festival can be translated as “Night of the Seven”. The meaning of the sieves is explained quite quickly. The celebrations always take place on the evening of the seventh day of the seventh month. It is not based on the Gregorian, but on the lunar calendar – the festival falls accordingly for us every year on a different day. This year, the Qixi Festival will be celebrated on the 7th of August.

Behind this Chinese holiday is a wonderfully mythical but heartbreaking story. It is based on a legend that has been handed down in many variants and sometimes very differently decorated. She tells of the shepherd boy Niulang, who lived after the death of his parents in the house of his brother and his sister-in-law. Both treated him very badly and eventually disowned him. On his own and without shelter, he led a difficult and desolate life – all that remained to him were his cattle, which he guarded with much care. While his cattle grazed peacefully, Niulang often played happy songs on his flute for hours. Lured by the magnificent sounds, the young weaver Zhinü, the seventh daughter of the Sky Emperor, came down to earth and fell in love with the friendly shepherd boys. He, too, was completely enchanted by her nature, and soon they were both married. Together, they moved into a house where Zhinü did their weaving – Niulang continued to care for his cattle. Together, they led a modest but very happy life – the birth of their two children then made their happiness perfect.

Soon, however, the luck of the two should be overshadowed, for the Empress of Heaven, Zhinu’s mother, had gotten wind of her daughter’s relationship with a mortal and was anything but pleased with her marriage. She immediately ordered Zhinü to return to heaven. Niulang immediately set out to catch up with his mistress, who was taken away against her will by her mother, and rode up the sky on one of his cattle. Suddenly the Celestial Empress drew a hairpin, drawing a river into the sky that the shepherd could not overcome, thus forming the Milky Way. Tears streaming down the faces of lovers on the riverbanks. A flock of magpies took pity on the two separated and formed a bridge over the river. In the middle of the bridge the shepherd and the weaver fell into each other’s arms. The heavenly Empress was visibly moved and showed mercy. She allowed the couple to meet once a year, on the seventh day in the seventh month on that Elster bridge.

The Qixi Festival celebrates this gathering. The traditional custom on this day is for young women to devote themselves to needlework to honor the weaver girl and ask the gods to improve their own skill. The young ladies practice z. As the threading of the needle under the moon sky. Meanwhile, however, the Qixi festival is approaching more and more the western Valentine’s Day and the lovers love each other with flowers and other love proofs. Many of them, however, still look up into the sky today and commemorate the tragic love story of Zhinü and Niulang. Her gaze wanders over two bright stars, which can be recognized on each side of the Milky Way. Altair and Vega are the names of the stars that according to legend are the two lovers.

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