The Chinese Valentine’s Day: A Short Introduction

According to Chinese tradition Chinese Valentine’s day falls on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. There are two beautiful stories behind this great event. Young lovers celebrate this day with gifts, cards, flowers and all sorts of beautiful things as is the custom in the West on 14th February. Chinese Valentine’s day is traditionally known as Qi Qiao Jie.

The origin of Chinese Valentine’s day is rather confusing as there are two versions of stories. But one thing is common among these two versions. Both involve the position of the stars on the seventh day of the seventh month in Chinese calendar.

The first version goes like this: the seven daughters of the Goddess of Heaven decided to visit the earth. During their visit a cowboy was attracted towards them. When they were bathing, this Cowboy, Niu Lang, stole their clothes. The prettiest of the lot, Zhi Nu, decided to encounter the boy and asked for their clothes.

According to Chinese tradition Zhi Nu and Niu Lang had to be married because one had seen the other naked. They married and lived happily for several years. But the Goddess of Heaven felt lonely at not having her prettiest daughter. So she ordered her to return to heaven. She allowed her daughter to meet her husband only once in a year. Legend says that on the seventh night of the seventh moon magpies create a bridge for Zhi Nu to return to her husband.

The other version tells that Niu Lang and Zhi Nu were both fairies living on opposite side of the Milky Way. The Jade Emperor of Heaven brought them close together. But unfortunately they became so close together that they neglected their works. The Emperor ordered that from moment on they could only meet on the seventh night of the seventh moon.

And the tradition of Chinese Valentine’s day began based on these stories.


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