环游中国(十三):七夕——中国人的情人节 Travelling around China (13): Double Seventh Festival--Chinese Valentine's Day

in r2cornell •  2 months ago 


Today is the seventh day of July in the lunar calendar, which is also called Chinese "Valentine's Day". Falling on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, it is commonly known as Qiqiao Festival (Ingenuity-Begging Festival), Girls' Festival, or Daughters' Festival. It is the most romantic festival in Chinese traditional festivals, and some people also call it Chinese Valentine's Day.

There is a popular folk story about " Qiqiao Festival ".

Zhinv, the Weaving Girl, is the granddaughter of the Queen Mother of the West, whose daily work is to weave clouds, that is, cloud brocaded heavenly clothes. The cowherd is a cowboy on earth, and his parents died early. He was abused by his brother and sister-in-law. He lived a hard life and what was accompanying him was an old cow every day.

One day, the old cow suddenly spoke to him that the Weaving Girl in the sky was going to take a bath in the river. As long as he took away the weaver girl's feather coat, she would not go back to the sky and he could marry the weaver girl.

On that day, the cowherd hid himself behind the reeds and quietly took away the feather coat of the weaver girl. When the other heavenly maidens saw the cowherd, they were scared to put on the feather coat and fly back to the sky, but the weaver girl had no feather coat and couldn't go back. The cowherd asked the weaver girl to stay. From then on, he married the weaver girl and they gave birth to a son and a daughter, living a happy life.

After a few years, the old cow suddenly said to the cowherd heavily that he was going to die, so he could peel off its skin. In case of emergency in the future, it would be useful to wear it on his body. The cowherd was very sad. He peeled off the cow hide and buried the old cow on the back mountain.

The Queen Mother of the West was very angry when she learned this, so she sent heavenly soldiers to arrest the weaver girl. The cowherd just came back from working in the field and saw the weaver girl taken to the sky from a distance. Suddenly, the cowherd remembered the words of the old cow, and then he carried his children with a shoulder pole and put on the skin of the old cow. To his surprise, he could fly to the sky as soon as he put the cow hide.

The cowherd chased behind, and the weaver girl cried in front. Seeing that he was about to catch up, the Queen Mother pulled off the hairpin on her head and drew a line between the weaver girl and the cowherd. Suddenly, the Milky Way appeared, with its waves turbulent, blocking the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl.

The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl couldn't see each other across the river, only to wash their faces with tears. Later, magpies were moved by their love story, so they spontaneously built a magpie bridge for them with their bodies to let the two meet. The Queen Mother was also moved and allowed the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl to meet on July 7 of the lunar calendar every year.

From this, we can see that Altair and Vega are facing each other across the Milky way, and there are two small stars next to Altair, as if carrying a son and a daughter on a shoulder pole. Not only magpies, birds on earth also fly to the sky to build bridges on the Chinese Valentine's Day. No wonder it's difficult to see birds on this day.

Some people say that on this day, under the grape trellis, you can still hear the cries of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl.

The Weaver Girl has a pair of skilled hands that can weave clouds. Folk girls hope to get the aura of the Weaver Girl, so on the Chinese Valentine's Day, "begging for ingenuity" makes it a festival symbolizing love, which is considered to be the most romantic traditional festival in China, and has given the cultural connotation of "Chinese Valentine's Day" in contemporary times.














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