The Legend of Chinese Valentine's Day
Chinese Valentine's Day is on the Seventh Day
of the Seventh Month on the Chinese calendar,
which falls on August 4th this year. Legend has
it that the seventh daughter of the Emperor of
Heaven, a weaving maid, fell in love and married
a cowherd. They were so much in love that they
forgot everything else in their lives and didn't
complete their farming and weaving duties, which
angered the Jade Emperor. He exiled them to opposite
banks of the Silver River (Milky Way), and only
allows them to meet each other once a year on
the night of the seventh day of the seventh month.
This legend has been handed down for nearly two
millennia. The Chinese people believe that the
star, Vega, east of the Milky Way, is Zhi Nu,
and that Altair, on the western side of the Milky
Way is Niu Lang waiting for his wife.
The seventh day of the seventh lunar month is
the only Chinese festival devoted to love in the
lunar calendar. Chinese Valentine's Day traditions
abound and this special day is celebrated differently
depending on the Chinese province.
Some of the many traditions include Chinese
girls preparing fruits, melons, and incense as
offerings to Zhi Nu, the weaving maiden, praying
to acquire high skills in needlecraft, as well
as hoping to find satisfactory husbands.
Girls place sewing needles on water. If the
needle doesn't sink, it's a sign of the girl's
maturity and intelligence and she is ready and
eligible to find a husband.
People in some Chinese provinces believe that
decorating the horns of oxen with flowers will
save them from catastrophe. Another tradition
is for women to wash their hair to make it look
fresh and shining.
chinese romantic coupleOn Chinese Valentine's
Day, young lovers go to the temple of the Matchmaker
and pray for their love and happiness, and their
possible marriage in China.
In the evening, people sit outside to observe
the stars. On this night, Vega and Altair are
closer together than at any other time of year.
Chinese grannies say that if you stand under a
grapevine, you can probably overhear what Zhi
Nu and Niu Lang are saying to one another.
About the Author
Author Bio Jane S. Roseen is the Owner and President
Sweets, an international gourmet chocolate
shop. Harmony Sweets' mission focuses on individual
consumers purchasing gourmet chocolates from around
the world for their friends and relatives, as
well as corporate gift-giving. Gourmet chocolate
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