Chinese Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is known as “Qi Xi Festival” falls on August 28th this year in China. The celebration takes place on the 7th day of the 7th month in the lunar calendar, and is depicted from an ancient Chinese fairy tale, dating back to more than 2000 years during the Han Dynasty.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Valentines Day Chinese Fairy Tale
The story told throughout generations in China begins with a goddess named Zhi Nu, known for her beautifully intricate weaving skills.
Zhi Nu went into the mortal world and met a cow herder named Niu Lang. They fell in love, married and had two children.
Zhi Nu’s mother, the queen mother of heaven, discovered their forbidden love, she became sad and angry and took Zhi Nu back to heaven. Niu Lang was left heartbroken.
An old cow Niu Lang had once rescued many years ago appeared before him and declared “I am a God injured in the mortal world, once I die you may take my skin. The leather can be used to make shoes that will fly you up to heaven”
Niu Lang did this and took his children to heaven to be reunited with their mother. However, Zhi Nu’s mother discovered their plan and in a fit of rage, tossed her hair pin into the black skies, creating a river of stars, known as the milky way, separating Zhi Nu and Niu Lang.
The cries of the separated lovers awakened thousands of Magpies who flew to their rescue, forming a bridge for the couple to walk across. Zhi Nu’s mother finally realises the power of their love, and for this reason, allows the couple to meet one night out of one year on “Qi Xi = the 7th night” .
How QiXi Festival Is Celebrated
QiXi is an an important day for girls in China. This is the time to offer fruits to Zhi Nu Goddess, praying for skillful hands to weave like the Goddess, so they may find their ideal husband. QiXi symbolises True Love. So, the girls also pray to Zhi Nu for sweet love.
Another tradition practised by some, is children picking wild flowers to hang on an Ox’s/Cows horns to remember the Cow-God who sacrificed his skin to Nui Lang.
In many larger cities in China, QiXi (Valentines) is celebrated like in the West with the giving of cards (perhaps from a secret admirer!), chocolates and flowers.