It's Chinese Valentine's Day today
By Liu Mo (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-07-31 06:32 According to ancient Chinese mythology the Cowherd
and the Weaver Maid, lovers separated by the Queen Mother of the Western
Heavens, can only meet tonight.
And thanks to the myth's touching story many Chinese now regard "Qixi" the
evening of July 7 in the Chinese lunar calendar as the Chinese Valentine's Day.
|A couple hang a
string of paper cranes in Nanjing on July 30, 2006. Local community
residents made 770,000 paper cranes before the Chinese Valentine's
Day which falls on lunar July 7. [Xinhua]
"The Qixi festival expresses the traditional values of love in China that
lovers should live to a ripe age together and be faithful to each other no
matter what difficulties they encounter," said Feng Jicai, chairman of the
Chinese Folk Literature & Arts Society.
Although both the Qixi festival and the Western Valentine's Day are dedicated
to love, Feng said he hopes some new content besides roses and chocolates will
become part of the traditional Chinese festival.
Yesterday, experts from the Chinese Folk Literature & Arts Society, the
China Federation of literary and Art Circles and the Chinese Academy of Social
Sciences gathered in Xingtai in North China's Hebei Province for a declaration
on protecting the individuality of Qixi culture.
In Nanjing in East China's Jiangsu Province, a total of 770,000 coloured
paper birds decorated the castle of the Zhonghua Gate yesterday, wishing the
city good luck in love.
And nearly 40 young people in traditional Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 220)
costumes, gathered in Chengdu, Southwest China's Sichuan Province yesterday to
celebrate the festival.
Three couples made a "Magpie Bridge" to help the Cowherd and Weaving Maid
cross the Milkyway and be reunited. In the ancient story, magpies spread their
wings to form a bridge across the Milkyway on July 7, enabling the couple to
meet at night in heaven.
According to the Chinese lunar calendar, there will be two Qixi festivals
this year. So the Cowherd and Weaving Maid can meet again, when the next
festival falls on August 31.