People in China do not exchange flowers and kisses on Valentine’s Day as they do in other parts of the world. Instead, the Chinese Valentine’s day is celebrated in a completely traditional way every year. Also known as Qi Qiao Jie, the Chinese Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the seventh eve of the seventh month of the Chinese Lunar calendar. This festival is also called as Seven Sisters Festival or the Festival of the Double Sevens. The festival is celebrated on a grand scale by the people who are in love. There are few legends associated with the origin of Chinese Valentine’s Day. Read further to know about these interesting folklores.
As per the first legend, a cowherd, Niu Lang, saw the seven daughters of Goddess of Heaven during one of their visits to earth. He decided to have a bit of fun by running off with their clothing, while the daughters were bathing in a river. The youngest and prettiest daughter, Zhi Nu was given the task of asking Niu Lang to return their clothes. Eventually, they fell in love and married to live happily for many years. However, the Goddess of Heaven started missing her daughter and instructed her to come back to Heaven. Zhi Nu obliged to her mother’s wish but was extremely sad over the separation from her lover. Goddess of Heaven could not bear to see the pitiable condition of her daughter. Hence, she allowed her to meet Niu Lang once a year. Thus, every year on the seventh night of the seventh moon, magpies come together to make bridge with their wings for Zhi Nu to cross and go to her husband Niu Lang.
Another legend says that Niu Lang and Zhi Nu were two pixies living on opposite sides of the Milky Way galaxy. The Emperor of Heaven keenly tried to bring them together as he felt sorry for the two lonely fairies. He accomplished the task too well. Gradually, Niu Lang and Zhi Nu became so mesmerized with each other that they discarded their work. Infuriated, the Emperor announced that the couple could meet only once a year i.e. on the seventh night of the seventh moon. And thus came the popular Valentine Day into existence. On this day, star gazers in China celebrate Qi Qiao Jie by looking up at the Milky Way. They gaze at the east side of the Milky Way to see star Vega which represent Zhi Nu and the constellation, Auilla on the west side which represent Niu Lang. The stars seem to wait to get united with each other. Chinese people believe that if it rains on the Valentine’s Day, the pouring drops of water are indeed the tears of these separated couples. Chinese girls arrange fruits and incense stick as offerings to Zhi Nu, hoping to find suitable husbands. In some parts of China, people decorate the horn of ox with flowers. They believe that by doing so they can escape from any probable catastrophe.