Culture Insider: Qixi - the Chinese Valentine's Day

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-08-07 10:14
Blooming roses welcome the Qixi Festival in a rose garden in Guanyun county, Jiangsu province, Aug 6, 2019. [Photo/IC]

The magic shoes whisked Niulang, who carried his two children in baskets strung from a shoulder pole, off on a chase after the empress.

The pursuit enraged the empress, who took her hairpin and slashed it across the sky creating the Milky Way which separated husband from wife.

But all was not lost as magpies, moved by their love and devotion, formed a bridge across the Milky Way to reunite the family.

Even the Jade Emperor was touched, and allowed Niulang and Zhinu to meet once a year on the seventh night of the seventh month.

This is how Qixi came to be. The festival can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220).

Traditionally, people would look up at the sky and find a bright star in the constellation Aquila as well as the star Vega, which are identified as Niulang and Zhinu. The two stars shine on opposite sides of the Milky Way.

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