Chinese Valentine’s Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by: Sophie

Sophie Zhang is from Liaoning Province in northern China. She earned her masters degree in Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from Xihua University in 2013. She is currently a classroom English teacher and online Mandarin Teacher. She has her own English classroom in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province. 

 

 

 

The basics

Chinese Valentine’s day was celebrated last week. It happens is on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. It is a traditional festival for Chinese people. It originates from a romantic, ancient Chinese story. 

Niu Lang and Zhi Nv, two lovers who got separated by the Queen Mother of the Western Heavens, could only meet that night. Thanks to this touching story, Chinese people call it “Qixi”.

 

The story

Once upon a time, there was a kind and honest man named Niu lang. His parents died during his childhood. Later, he was forced to live with his sister-in-law, who lived on a cattle farm.

One day, an enchanted cow told him to find a beautiful and gentle woman as his life companion. Guided by the cow, one evening, Niu Lang came to the river and saw seven beautiful fairies bathing in the stream. He took the most beautiful silk dress and hid.

When the fairies came out of the water, the youngest fairy could not find her clothes, so the other fairies went back to heaven without taking her with them.

Later, Niu Lang came out with the clothes and said to the fallen fairy, “I love you. Stay with me!” At that moment, Zhi Nv fell in love with him and quietly remained in the world to marry him.

The husband and wife farmed and weaved, and they were content. In the following two years, they had two children, a daughter, and a son.

Unfortunately, the Emperor soon discovered this and ordered the Queen Mother to take Zhi Nv back. With the help of this magical cow, Niu Lang took his two children to the sky.

Just as he was about to rescue Zhi Nv, the Queen Mother took off her golden hairpin and scratched it across the heavens. A river appeared in front of Niu Lang. From then on, Niu Lang and Zhi Nv were separated by the river.

Their loyalty to each other inspired magpies. Thousands of magpies built a bridge on the Milky Way to let Niu Lang and Zhi Nv meet on the bridge. The Queen Mother was moved by them. She then allowed them to meet on Magpie Bridge once a year on the evening of July 7th. Therefore, the date between Niu Lang and Zhi Nv is called the “Qixi Festival”.

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