Today’s Google Doodle added a new myth to my mythic vocabulary.
Today August 25th, is the Qixi Festival or the Magpie day in Chinese Mythology. It’s also known as “The Chinese Valentine’s Day” . It’s celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. The legend is that two lovers, Zhinü, a weaver girls, and Niulang, a cowherd fell in love.
“The Qixi festival inspired the Tanabata festival in Japan, Chilseok festival in Korea, and Thất Tịch festival in Vietnam.” (Wki)
The Qixi festival is also called the the Night of Sevens, or the Magpie Festival. The story is that they were not allowed to celebrate their love and were banished on opposite sides of the Silver River, which symbolizes the milky way. It’s said the once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, a flock of magpies form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day. There are other variations to this story.
In China, there are many rituals to celebrate this day, “Girls worship the stars in the sky, burn paper items. In some parts of China, girls wish for a loving husband, and display their needle work skills. Toiletries are hung in honor of the seven maidens.
Modern day festivities include wearing red clothing(symbolizing passion), dancing, displaying needle work, gazing at the sky, crossing the bridge.
Happy “Double Seventh Festival” to all lovers, and those in love. And those that are not romantically linked, may find their Valentine, soon, very soon. Cross the bridge anyway.