China is an ancient country with splendid civilization and long history. It’s really hard to know China thoroughly and deeply, but we can get a sense of its culture by knowing its festivals.
7th day of the 7th lunar month is a traditional festival full of romance called Chinese Valentine’s Day, and this festival has been listed in the first national nonmaterial cultural heritage list in 2006.
In Chinese legend, it’s said that the Cowherd and the Weaving Maid once were a happy couple, and later their marriage was disapproval by the Empire of the Heaven who was the father of the Weaving Maid actually, so later they were separated by the Milky Way. They could meet only once in a year when magpies fly together to form a bridge over the Milky Way. This is an ancient and romantic festival, and many customs have been handed down through the ages.
In the seventh evening of the July, girls will pray toward the star Vega. They first arrange a table at night with some teas, wines, fruits and nuts covering. Flowers are also necessary for this lovely festival. When everything is done, they will pray toward the Vega with great devotion. The girls can tell the Vega their wishes like marrying a good boy or becoming more and more beautiful. Some young married women may pray for having a child.
As the Weaving Maid is very good at weaving cloud, so some girls and women pray with needles and threads at hand in the hope of being skillful at needlework.
On that special day, there’s a common festival food called Qiaoguo which is a kind of fruit-like food made from flour and sugar, just like turkey we have for Thanksgiving Day. It’s a tradition. However, married women are not allowed to pray at the seventh night of the seventh lunar month in some places, as different place has different customs.
Someone ever said that I love you not because of who you are, I just like the feeling when I with you. Love is a pure and happy feeling. It has nothing to do with status and wealth. Maybe the love between the Cowherd and the Weaving Maid turns to a tragedy, but the story reflects people’s heartful desire for love. The figure of this kind and hard-working Cowherd expresses people’s enthusiasm toward the labor.
It’s a romantic day for Chinese, and you can also make a full use of this romantic atmosphere to show your love!