About Chinese Valentine's Day

By Fei Gao on Aug 05, 2022

The Qixi Festival is celebrated on every 7th day of the 7th month according to Chinese lunar calendar. The festival is known as the Chinese Valentine's Day. In the past days, girls are the major part of participants of this festival and the main activity during the festival isasking for light hand. Therefore this day is called Qi Qiao Festival or Girls' Festival. It is the most romantic festival among Chinese traditional festivals.
七夕节是在农历七月初七,这个节日被称为“中国情人节”。在古代,女孩们是这个节日的主要参与者,节日期间的主要活动是乞巧,因此,这一天被称为“乞巧节”或“女儿节”。它是中国传统节日中最浪漫的节日。
缘聚七夕
02
Folklore Story
In ancient China, a young cowherd called Niu lang was an orphan and lived with an old cow. One day he came across a beautiful young lady, Zhinv, the seventh daughter of the Goddess, who was fed up with the boring heaven life and went to the earth for fun. Soon the two youngsters fell in love with each other and got married without the Goddess’s approval.
在中国古代,有一个名叫牛郎的牧牛者,他是一个孤儿,和一头老牛住在一起。有一天他遇到了一个美丽的姑娘——织女,织女是王母娘娘的第七个女儿,她厌倦了无聊的仙界生活,于是来到凡间游玩。不久,这两个年轻人彼此相爱,没有得到王母的同意就成亲了。
Zhinv proved to be a wonderful wife and Niu lang to be a very good husband. They lived happily and had 2 adorable sons. However, the Goddess finally found out that her daughter, a fairy girl, had married a mortal. She exploded with rage and orderedthe heaven troopto catch Zhinv back.
织女是一个好妻子,牛郎是一个很好的丈夫。他们幸福地生活在一起,并有了两个可爱的儿子。然而,王母后来发现,她的女儿,一个仙女,竟然嫁给了一个凡人。她勃然大怒,命天兵天将把织女抓回来。
On earth, Niu lang was very sad but can do nothing. Suddenly his old cow began to talk and told him that if he kill it and put on its hide, he might be able to go to heaven to find his wife. With great sadness, Niu lang killed the cow and did as what the cow told him with his two sons.
牛郎在凡间很伤心,但什么也做不了。突然,他的老牛开口说话,说如果牛郎宰了它,穿上它的皮,他就可以飞去仙界找到他的妻子。牛郎非常难过地杀了这头牛,并按照老牛对他所说的,带着两个儿子去寻妻了。
The Goddess knew it and was very annoyed. She took out her hairpin and scratched a wide river in the sky to separate the two lovers forever, thus formingthe Milky Waybetween Altair and Vega.
王母知道这件事后,非常生气。她拿出发簪,在空中划了一条宽阔的河,将牛郎和织女永远分开,于是形成了银河。
From then on, Zhinv could only sat on one side of the river and weaved sadly while Niu lang had to forever on the other side of the river and took care of their two children. But the magpies all around the world take pity on them. Every July 7th, they would fly together to form amagpie bridgeover the stars, providing a way for the two lovers to meet for a single night.
从此织女只能坐在河的一边伤心地织布,而牛郎则不得不永远呆在河的另一边照顾两个孩子。但是全世界的喜鹊都很可怜他们,每年的7月7日,它们会聚在一起,在繁星之上形成一座鹊桥,为这对恋人提供了相见一晚的机会。
 
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03
Customs
Asking for Good Embroidery Skills
乞巧
穿针乞巧
There were many different forms of competitions for ingenuity. Among them, threading multiple-hole needles was the most popular and the oldest dating to the Han Dynasty. Young girls would thread needles with five, seven or even nine holes. The one finished the threading fastest would win.
当时有许多不同形式的“卜巧”方法。其中,穿多孔针是最流行和最古老的,可以追溯到汉代。年轻的女孩们会穿五孔、七孔甚至九孔的针,最快完成穿线的人赢。
喜蛛应巧
Since Northern and Southern Dynasties (420 - 589 AD), young girls would catch a spider on the festival day and kept them overnight. In the next morning, the better the web, the handier the owner was predicted to be.
从南北朝(公元420 - 589年)开始,年轻的姑娘们就会在节日这天抓蜘蛛,并把它们在家里放一晚上。第二天早上,蜘蛛结的网越好,预示该女子越心灵手巧。
投针验巧
In Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368–1911 AD), girls would mix river water and well water on the festival, then put needles gently on the surface of the water on the second day. If the shadow of the needle was in other shape instead of straight, it implies the girl had successfully obtained ingenuity.
在明清时期(公元1368 - 1911年),姑娘们会在节日的时候将河水和井水混合,然后在第二天将针轻轻放在水面上。如果针的影子不是直的,而是别的形状,那就说明这位姑娘乞巧成功。
Praying for Good luckon
Marriage and Family
祈求姻缘
Single women pray for finding a good husband in the future. And the newly married women pray to become pregnant quickly.
单身女性祈祷将来能找到一个好丈夫,新婚的妇女则祈祷快点怀孕。
 
Eat Qiaoguo (Qixi Pastry)
吃巧果
Long time ago, there was a young girl who was sympathetic towards Zhinu and Niulang. Every Qixi Festival, she would make some delicate pastries and pray that the two could reunite smoothly. The Jade Emperor was touched by her and ordered Matchmaker to find her a Mr. Right. After, more and more young girls made pastries on that day in hope of their Mr. Right and the custom of eating Qixi pastry formed. Nowadays, Qixi pastries are still popular in Shandong, Shanghai, Shaoxing and some nearby areas.
很久以前,有个年轻女孩很同情织女和牛郎。每到七夕节,她都会做一些精致的糕点,祈祷两人能够顺利团聚。玉皇大帝被她感动了,命月老给她找个真命天子。此后,越来越多的年轻女孩在这一天做糕点,希望找到自己的白马王子,吃“乞巧果子”的习俗形成。如今,巧果在山东、上海、绍兴和周边地区仍然很受欢迎。
Celebrate as the Valentine’s Day
情人节
As the time past, more and more young people begin to celebrate this day as Chinese Valentine’s Day because of the romantic folklore. Lovers and couples exchange gifts on that Chinese lovers day, and some youngsters like to join traditional activities in ancient Chinese costumes.
随着时间的推移,越来越多的年轻人因为浪漫的民间传说开始把这一天作为“中国情人节”庆祝。在这一天,情侣们互赠礼物,一些年轻人喜欢穿着中国古代的服装参加传统活动。
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