Qixi Festival (Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day)
Global Granary would like to wish you all a Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day! Jiayou
Yep, me too. I find it rather ‘strange’ to be celebrating Valentine’s Day today. Valentine’s Day is on 14th February every year. 🙂
Today, however, is the Qixi Festival, also known as Qiqiao Festival. This festival is celebrated just like the St Valentine’s Day, where lovers go on dates, giving presents like chocolates and flowers.
The Qixi Festival originated from one of the poems from the Shijing collection of Odes and Songs dating back from 11th to 7th century BC.
The poem is a narrative of the saga of the romantic but forbidden relationship that develops between a human and a goddess.
Niulang was a poor cowherd boy, who lived with his brother and brother-in-law. He was a male Cinderella, maltreated and abused to the point of being thrown out of the house.
Niulang then met an old man, who told him that there was a job going for a resourceful cowherd. Niulang was so grateful to the old man, who was, in fact, a supernatural being. He brought Niulang to the heavens to look after sick cows.
In no time, the bovines where thriving. The old man was grateful to the young man. He noticed thought that Niulang looks lonely. As a reward for the hard-working man, he introduced her to a beautiful girl, who spends her day weaving. She is a goddess incognito and her name is Zhi Nu.
It was love at first sight for both of them.
A marriage between a mortal and a deity is strictly prohibited.
But they did not care; they were in love and got married, had two kids and would have lived happily ever after if the goddess’ grandmother did not find out.
The grandmother, Wang Mu Niang Niang, thought her granddaughter was contentedly weaving infinite yarns 🙂 in a corner of the heavens; she did not know that she was playing wifey to some mortal.
She was incandescent with rage that with her hairpin she scratched a wide ribbon in the heavens separating Zhi Nu from her mortal family.
Zhin Nu and Niulang with their children cried so much that their tears flowed into the chasm between them creating a river.
It might be pity or it might be a wish for some peace and quiet from all the cryings that a great flock of magpies forms a bridge so the family can be reunited for a day.
So it was then decided that on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month each year, the magpie will help to reunite the family. That is why today is also known as Magpie Day.