Chinese Valentine’s Day: A romantic rendezvous for couples
Qixi Festival——As one of the traditional Chinese cultures, it has a history of thousands of years and is regarded as a symbol of romantic love. Qixi Festival is also known as “Qiqiao Festival”. The Qixi Festival is usually celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. In ancient times, girls would pray to heaven for a happy family and marriage on this day. Couples will also exchange gifts on this day to express their affection for each other.
Girls’ Festival – “Qiqiao Festival”
The Qixi Festival is famous because of the story of “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl”. However, do you know that the first “Qixi Festival” was more of a celebration for girls? “Qiqiao Festival” first appeared in Ge Hong’s “Xijing Miscellaneous Notes” in the Eastern Jin Dynasty: on July 7th, a young woman in colorful clothes pierces a seven-hole needle on the image of the Cowherd and Weaver Girl, and people come to learn.
Threading needles and begging for cleverness is one of the earliest customs of the Qixi Festival, and it is also one of the favorite activities of women. In this event, the women compete in a needle-threading competition by stitching seven needles together, and then the women compete to see who can go through the needles the fastest. The moral of this event is to hope that women can be as dexterous as Zhinu and find their own husbands.
According to “Kaiyuan Tianbao Legacy”: Tang Taizong and his concubine held a night banquet in the Qing Palace every Tanabata, and the maids begged for cleverness. In the harem of the Han Dynasty, July 7th was a day when the court ladies practiced female reds and hoped for long-lasting love.
Evolution of QiXi Festival
The link between “Qiqiao Festival” and “Cowherd and Weaver Girl” originated in the Eastern Han Dynasty. “Customs,” said: “The Weaver Girl should cross the river on the Qixi Festival and use the magpie as a bridge.” “Chinese Valentine’s Day”. According to legend, Niulang is the cow fairy in the sky, and Zhinu is the fairy on Vega. Because of disobeying the emperor’s order, Zhinu was exiled to the world, while Cowherd was exiled to the world to live an ordinary life. The two met on earth and fell in love. However, because Zhinu is still a fairy, the emperor does not allow them to be together forever. Finally, with the help of Magpie Bridge, Cowherd, and Weaver Girl meet once a year on the night of the QiXi Festival to express their longing for each other.
Modern QiXi festival
The Qixi Festival still maintains a strong popularity and romantic atmosphere in modern times. On this day, not only couples can express their affection but also loved ones can pass on love.
So what are the activities of the QiXi Festival?
1. Begging for cleverness: On this day, young girls will participate in the activity of “begging for cleverness”, which means that they will pray for wisdom and skillful hands, which symbolizes the virtue and hard work of women.
2. Building a magpie bridge: In some places, imitating the legend of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl, a symbolic magpie bridge is built, allowing couples to spend the night of the QiXi Festival together on the bridge.
3. Giving gifts: Qixi Festival is also a time of giving gifts, couples will give gifts to each other to express their mutual affection. Such as bouquets, chocolates, handwritten love letters, etc.
4. Watching the stars: On the night of the QiXi Festival, people will watch the stars together, implying the meeting of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl. Especially in rural areas, people will light bonfires and enjoy stargazing together. The old people also said: On the day of the QiXi Festival, sitting under the grape arbor, you can hear the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl talking in whispers.
The Chinese Qixi Festival is a festival that contains ancient legends and romantic emotions. It shows people’s yearning for love and happiness, and it will continue to be passed down in modern society. Whether it is the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl in ancient times or a modern couple, the Qixi Festival is telling a beautiful story.