A Chinese political advisor and humanities scholar has suggested to use the
2008 Beijing Olympic Games for a chance to recommend an ancient legendary
romance of the nation to foreign vistors as part of the country's efforts to
promote its traditional culture in the world.
Organizers of the sports event and cultural authorities can scheme a grand
gala on the Tian'anmen Square to mark Qixi, or Chinese Valentine's Day, which
falls on the eve of the Games' scheduled opening ceremony on August 8, 2008, to
charm foreign athletes and visitors with the colorful folk custom coming from
the love story of a cow herder and a fairy weaver, said Li Hanqiu, a member of
the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
An ancient folklore tells that fairy weaver Zhinu fell in love with and
married cow herder Niulang, but they were separated by the Milky Way at the
order of the Queen Mother of the Heaven, who was irritated by the heretical
union between an earthling and an immortal.
The two lovers are only reunited once a year on the seventh day of the
seventh month in Chinese lunar calendar, when magpies form a bridge across the
galaxy for them.
"The coincidence of the Olympics and Qixi offers a rare chance for China to
exhibit its charming traditional culture to the world, as the grand sports event
also offers a platform for cultural exchanges between people from different
countries," said Li on the sidelines of the annual session of the CPPCC National
Committee, China's top advisory body.
With the help of the laser technology, the scene of the two lovers' romantic
reunion can be staged "on the sky" above the Tian 'anmen Square, which can be
followed by an international contest of love songs, said Li.
Li said he has consulted with laser experts of the Chinese Academy of
Sciences on the feasibility of the wonderful plan, who told him it is not very
difficult to stage such a scene.
The scholar also proposed to develop souvenirs, such as stamps and envelops
themed on the romance, to help promote the oriental festival for lovers.