QiXi Story – The Chinese Valentine’s Day


Lovers meeting on the bridge of magpies

QiXi” (七夕) is the Chinese Valentine’s Day. It is a legend of love story, but there are several versions. Here is one version:

Long time ago, there was an orphan living with his brother and his wife. He is smart and diligent, but his sister-in-law still dislike him. Every morning before sun rise, she pushed him to go to mountains with oxes for food. So, everybody called him “Niulang” (牛郎, literally “cowherd”). After a few years, He and his brother split the property. His sister-in-law gave him a poor-conditioned shelter and an old ox. From that day on, Niulang fed the ox in mountains and collect firewood during the day and slept with his ox in the cowshed at night.

One day, Niulang drove his ox to a wood they had never been to. Here he saw beautiful mountains and springs as well as singing birds and blossom flowers. Niulang witnessed that nine (some say seven) fairy sisters appeared from the clouds and landed along the riverside. They took off their colorful cloths and bathed in the transparent river. Niulang stared at the most beautiful girl ecstatically. At this moment, his ox spoke in human language suddenly: “She is Zhinü (织女, literally “[the] weaver girl”, the star Vega). If you get her color cloth, she will marry you.” Niulang quietly walked to riverside behind the woods and took Zhinü’s colorful cloth. At about noon, other fairy sisters put on their colorful cloths and sailed to the sky with clouds. But Zhinü; had to stay because she couldn’t find her cloth. At this time, Niulang stepped out and requested her to be his wife. Eye witnessed such an honest, hard-working and healthy boy Niulang, Zhinü; agreed to his request for marriage.

She proved to be a wonderful wife as a weaving lady, and Niulang to be a good husband as a farmer. They loved each other very much. Two years later, Zhinü gave births to one boy and one girl. But the God of Heaven was very furious when he learned that Zhinü; had married a mere mortal. On the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, he ordered the Goddess of Heaven to lead a team of soldiers to took Zhinü back to heaven. With the helps from his ox, the deeply sorrow Niulang put their children to a basket and went to the sky and tried to catch up with them. Just before hereach them, the Goddess used her hair ornament golden kanzashi to wave in the sky. All in a sudden, there was a choppy sky river appeared in front of Niulang.

The tearing Zhinü and Niulang with children were now standing on the east and west banks of the river. They looked at each other over and cried. The outcry moved many magpies and they flew to the sky river and formed a bridge. Now, Niulang and Zhinü could meet on the bridge. The Goddess was powerless and had to agree to allow the couple to meet on the bridge on the seventh day of the seventh mouth every year. Thereafter, every seventh day of the seventh lunar month is celebrated as “Qi Qiao Day”, namely the Chinese Valentine’s Day.

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One Response to “QiXi Story – The Chinese Valentine’s Day”

  1. Two brothers – nine and ten years old « Paviavio           Says:

    […] I asked my friend who accompanied me about this Qixi day. He told me the story. (The details of the QiXi story is moved to another article.) After listen to the story told by my friend, I became wordless. The […]

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