The Double Seventh (Qixi Jie)-Chinese's Valentine day
The Festival of the double Seventh takes place on the night of the 7th day of the 7th month. On this night every year, the Cowherd and the Weaving Maid in the skies walk across a bridge spanned by magpies to come together again over the Heavenly River (the Milky Way).
Thus it is a night for lovers.
The legend says that the Cowherd lived in the Hexi area west pf China. He was very good at playing the flute. His music so moved the granddaughter of the King of Heaven, the Weaving Maid, that she dropped her weaving and came down to the world and lived with the Cowherd. The King of Heaven was so furious that he ordered her brought back for trial. The Cowherd, together with their children, went after his wife, sailing in the clouds in a boat made out of the horn of his ox. Just as he was about to catch up with her, the Queen Mother of the Western Heaven took a golden pin from her hair and drew a line in the air. At once a heavenly river with roaring waves appeared in the sky, blocking the Cowherd and the Weaving Maid from each other so that they could only look across it at each other. Their true love deeply moved the kindhearted Phoenix, who called all the magpies in the universe to from a bridge over the river fir the lovers to cross and reunite-but only once a year: on the night of the seventh day if the seventh month.
The romantic story appeared in the Han Dynasty when the people, seeing Altair (Alpha) and Vega in the heavens on each side of the Milky Way, created this tale. By Tang Dynasty times, people regarded the night of the Double Seventh as the lucky time for lovers. It was at midnight of the Double Seventh that the Tang Emperor Li Longji and his concubine Yang Yuhuan vowed their love for each other, as the Tang poet Bai Juyi said in his poem "Song of Eternal Sorrow":
Pledging our love for each other in secret
On this seventh night of the seventh mouth,
May we be a pair of lovebirds in the sky,
May we be entwined tree branches on the earth.
The Double Seventh is a traditional festival particularly favored by girls. They all dress gorgeously and show people their ingeniously-made crafts. Thus it is also called Girls' Day.
Because the Weaving Maid was perfect at weaving, the Double Seventh is also the time for girls to beg her to give them a pair of nimble hands. Ancient books record that on in the courtyard for the Weaving Maid, who in turn taught them how to be clever with their fingers.
For their master, the Weaving Maid, to use, the girls fashion everyday utensils out of such things as sesame and melon seeds. They make her a dressing table and other furniture she will need out of slender pieces of wood. They show her their skill by threading a needle in the moonlight.
The girls seek the Weaving Maid's answer to whether they will be skilled or not. One way is to put a small spider in a box to see if it makes a web the next day, and if it does, to see whether it is closely or loosely woven and whether it is well-shaped or not. A neatly woven and well-foretells clever fingers.
Girls in different parts of China search for cleverness from the Weaving Maid in different ways. In Beijing in the afternoon of the 6th day, girls put a bowl of clear water on a table out in the open air. By noon the next day the Weaving Maid will have left her tears in the bowl. Then each girl outs a strand broken off a new whisk broom on the surface of the water. The sunlight tom of strikes the strands different, making their shadows on the bottom of the bowl take different shapes. If it's the one a girl asks for, it means she will get a pair of nimble hands from the Weaving Maid.
In Shanghai, girls beg for cleverness by consecrating melons and fruit to the Weaving Maid. In the south of Fujian Province, they offer sweets to the seven goddesses who have evolved from the one Weaving Maid.
History of Qixi festival
Celebration of this festival