Views: 25 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2019-08-07 Origin: CNN每日更新
Today is Qixi Festival, a romantic tradition that originated from Chinese culture over 2,000 years ago. On the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, the stars Altair and Vega appear close together in the night sky, separated by the Milky Way. This celestial convergence inspired the legend of Niulang and Zhinü, a tale of true love triumphing against all odds.
As the story goes, Niulang was a humble cowherd who lived with his faithful ox, who was actually a cattle god sent to the earth as punishment. One day, Niulang met the fairy princess Zhinü and fell deeply in love. They were soon married, and Zhinü became a weaver girl happily living in Niulang’s cottage. Unfortunately, her mother did not approve and returned Zhinü to heaven.
In a selflessly tragic act, Niulang’s ox sacrificed his own life so the cowherd could use his magic hide to fly to the stars in pursuit of his bride, but the goddess continued to separate the couple with a river of stars. According to the legend, a flock of magpies formed a bridge, allowing the lovers to meet once each year.
Celebrated in China since the Han dynasty, Qixi, or the Double Seventh Festival, inspired Tanabata in Japan, Chilseok in Korea, and Thất Tịch in Vietnam. Many traditions have evolved around the ancient festival: Children hang flowers on the horns of oxen, while young women try to thread a needle by moonlight or read poetry honoring the weaver goddess.
Today, Qixi is similar to Valentine’s Day in the west—an occasion for flowers, candy, and romantic dinners for two.
Happy Qixi Festival !