Happy Chinese Valentine's Day! - Jillian Lin

Friday, 25 August 2017

Happy Chinese Valentine's Day!

On August 28 it is Chinese Valentine’s Day, or the Qixi Festival (七夕節). It is also known as the Double Seventh Day, as it falls on the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese lunar calendar.

The festival originates from a legend about two lovers, a weaver girl and a cowherd. Many versions of this story exist, but according to one of them, their love was forbidden because the girl was really a fairy from heaven and the cowherd only a mere mortal. That is why they were banished to opposite sides of the river of stars (or the Milky Way).

Once a year, on Double Seventh Day, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for a day. Traditionally, women would show off their weaving and sewing skills on the day of this festival. However, young Chinese people today prefer to celebrate the Western Valentine’s Day in February.