By Mei Yee
Yes you read that title correctly. The Qixi Festival, Double Seventh Festival, or Chinese Valentines Day, is often celebrated in August.
It is celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar. Which is August 4th this year. (August 22nd for 2023, August 10th for 2024, and August 29th for 2025).
It became known as Chinese Valentine's Day as it is the most romantic of traditional Chinese festivals. Now a days it is celebrated as the Valentines Day you're used to. Spending it with the one you love, giving flowers, chocolates and other gifts.
Traditionally it was celebrated by;
Showing desterity skills (weaving, sewing and carving)
Worshiping the weaver fairy (there was a table of offerings and in the evening young women sat around the table, displaying their needlework, and play games or read poems until midnight.
Honor oxen (children picked bunches of wild flowers and hung them on the horns of oxen in honor of the legendary ox).
Making (and eating) skill fruit (thin fried pastries)
The Qixi Festival originated from the legend of the cowherd and the weaver girl. Long story short; An oxherd, with the help of his ox (a demoted cattle god) married a fairy, who became a weaver girl. The fairys mother, a goddess, returned her to heaven. The oxherd pursued her using the ox's hide. The goddess separated them by a river of stars (the Milky Way), but magpies were allowed to form a bridge for them to meet once a year (Qixi).
Yep, you guessed it. The one day a year they were allowed to meet was the seventh day of the seventh month. (If you are interested, the whole story can be found here.)
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