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Chinese Valentines

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By lilyd
Words 336
Pages 2
Qi Xi ("The Night of Sevens") or Chinese Valentine's Day celebrates two legendary love stories explaining the position of the stars on the seventh day of the seventh month in the Chinese lunar calendar. Today! These tales have inspired Chinese poetry and opera as far back as the Jin Dynasty (256-420 AD).

In the first story, the Goddess of Heaven’s seven daughters caught the eye of a cowherd during one of their visits to earth. They were bathing in a river and the Cowherd, Niu Lang, decided to have a bit of fun by running off with their clothing.

The prettiest daughter (Zhi Nue, the seventh born), asked him to return their clothes. Law dictated that since Niu Lang had seen her naked, they had to marry. The couple lived happily for several years until the Goddess of Heaven missed her daughter, and ordered her to return to heaven. The lovers were permitted to reunite once each year. On the seventh night of the seventh moon, magpies form a bridge with their wings for Zhi Nu to cross to meet her husband.

In the second story, Niu Lang and Zhi Nu were fairies living on opposite sides of the Milky Way. Feeling sorry for the two lonely sprites, the Jade Emperor of Heaven brought them together, but they became so enraptured with each other that they neglected their work. The Emperor decreed that from that point on, the couple could only meet once a year.

Star gazers celebrate Qi Xi by gazing up at the star Vega, east of the Milky Way which represents Zhi Nu, and at the constellation Aquila, on the west side of the Milky Way, where Niu Lang waits for his love to join him.

A Chinese website whose founders oppose the holiday's increasing commercialism advises, "Lovers, could you please not show off your happiness? Forget the hearts and flowers and keep your love-happy selves to yourself."

I'll be playing hockey. It's the playoffs!…...

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