The Qixi Festival also known as the Double Seventh festival falls on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month. Known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day, this festival originated from the romantic legend of two lovers, Zhinv (Weaver girl, symbolising Vega) and Niulang (Cowherd, symbolising Altair).
Chinese mythology told of a poor orphaned young cowherd, Niulang who was mistreated by his brother and sister-in-law. Zhinv was the 7th daughter of Emperor of Heaven. One day, she escaped from her boring duties of weaving colourful clouds and rainbow to earth. With the help of an old ox, Niulang met Zhinv and they fell in love. After getting married, Niulang proved to be a good husband and Zhinv, a good wife. They lived happily and had 2 children, a boy and a girl.
Somehow, the Emperor found out that his daughter had married a mere mortal and was furious. He sent the Empress to force Zhinv to return to heaven. Zhinv was forced to resume her duties of weaving colourful clouds and rainbow, a task she neglected while living with a mortal on earth.
Niulang was very upset after discovering that his wife had disappeared. Suddenly, the old ox started talking to him. He was once the God of cattle from heaven, banished to earth after violating the law of heaven. The ox told him to use his hide to fly to heaven and find his wife. Crying bitterly, he killed the ox.
Carrying his children in two baskets, he put on the ox’s skin and flew to heaven. The Empress discovered this and got very angry. Taking out her hairpin, she scratched a wide river in the sky separating the two lovers forever. This was the Milky Way between Vega and Altair. Zhinv must forever sit on one side of the river, sadly weaving her loom and while Niulang watches from afar while taking care of their children.
Their deep love for each other moved the Magpies on earth that took pity on them. They flew to heaven and formed a bridge joining the two sides of the river. The Empress, realising that she couldn’t stop them, allowed them to meet once a year on the Magpie Bridge. That day is the 7th day of the 7th lunar month.
Most participants of this festival are young women and the most popular activity is to plead for skills. As the most romantic day among traditional Chinese festivals, Qixi Festival is favoured by young women who demonstrated their domestic skills, pray for happiness, wealth and longevity and make wishes for a loving and good husband.
This festival also held an importance for newly-wed couples. Traditionally, they would worship the celestial couple for the last time and bid farewell to them. The celebration stood symbol for a happy marriage and showed that the married woman was treasured by her new family.
This year, this day falls on August 20th, 2015. Please join us on this day to celebrate love and the touching legend behind this festival. A souvenir will be presented to every guest to commemorate the occasion.