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Qixi festival: the Chinese Valentine’s day

Today is the Qixi festival! What is the Qixi festival? It’s a romantic day when lovers exchange gifts! Let’s celebrate love!

七夕快乐! Qī xī jié kuài lè! Happy Chinese Valentine’s!

Today is the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, and that’s a special day in China! It’s the Chinese’s Valentine’s Day! 七夕 (qī xī) is a day that’s been celebrated possibly since the Han Dynasty.

QiXi is also the double seven festival.

Also called the Double Seven festival (ah, that love for double numbers), 七夕 is a day reserved for love in the Middle Kingdom, making it the most romantic festival in China. First, celebrations and gifts are exchanged. Then, that day remains to be a day of love and friendships. So the perfect way to spend the 7th day of the 7th month — especially for couples in love is to spend time together are enjoy gifts.

What is the origin of the Qixi festival?

The origin of the Qixi Festival is a touching love story between Zhinü (织女), the weaver girl, a fairy from heaven, and Niulang (牛郎), the cowherd from Earth. As you can imagine, they fell in love but were not allowed to love each other freely. They couldn’t live without each other. Therefore, they decided to stay separated, though each was waiting for the other to be reborn and have a second chance at love. However, they loved each other so much that they were unwilling to let go. So they decided to live a happy ever after in the same place.

Qi Xi, the myth the legends

The legend said that the Goddess Mother Earth was extremely angry at them as they were not getting married. In preparation for their reunion, a two-day festival was to be held. The goddess Mother Earth explicitly forbade the first day for the two lovers to attend. The second was the actual wedding. The problem was that once they tried to get married, they would be together forever, but only if they were together during the festival’s first day. Their separation was obliviated from their minds, but the Goddess Mother Earth ensured that the festival’s first day would be painful if they were to attend. The goddess placed heavy curses on them to ensure they did not go.

Chinese legends explain the milky way.

Wikipedia says this about Qixi: thus, they were banished to opposite sides of the heavenly river (symbolizing the Milky Way). Once a year, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for a single day.

Love is a compromise.

So, as a compromise, they were allowed to meet once a year, on the 7th of the 7th lunar month… And thus, the 七夕 festival was born to commemorate their meeting (七 means 7 and 夕 dusk) and strong feelings of love.

Very cute, right? Have a wonderful Double Seven Festival!

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