What is the Qixi Festival? Google Doodle dives into romantic legend behind Chinese Valentine’s Day

There’s no need to worry if you missed Valentine’s Day this year. Another opportunity to observe the day of love is at the Qixi Festival. The new Google Doodle, created by Celine You and decorated with red stamps, is an image of a day that is observed in Taiwan, Singapore, and other regions of Asia and is based on a love narrative.

The Double Seventh Festival, the Night of the Sevens, and the Magpie Festival are other names for it, according to Doodles Archive. On the lunar calendar, it is observed on the seventh day of the seventh month. On this day, singles and couples exchange presents like sweets and roses with the people they find romantically appealing.

Qixi Festival

Qixi Festival

The history of Qixi Festival

Origins of the celebration can be traced back to the Han Dynasty. Older customs included craft demonstrations, worship rituals for Zhinu (one of the festival’s mythological figures), and ceremonies for hanging flowers in honor of oxen.

The legend behind the festival

The day’s myth centers on two star-crossed lovers, Niulang, a lowly oxherd, and Zhinu, a weaving girl and the daughter of a strong deity. Despite their differences, this couple fell head over heels in love. And Zhinu made the impermissible decision to stay on Earth, where she worked as a weaver, got married, lived happily ever after with Niulang, and finally gave birth to a boy and a girl.

According to Doodle’s Archive, Zhinu was made to go back once the queen mother of the skies found out about their marriage. Niulang jumped into the air above to save his wife, followed by their two kids. However, the queen created the Milky Way as a river between the Earth and the heavens using her hairpin, preventing him from traveling to Zhinu. However, because the couple’s anguish was felt all over the cosmos, the queen agreed to let the family reunite on the double seventh over a bridge of magpies flying over the river.

Women dress in Hanfu, a type of traditional Chinese apparel with a long flowing robe, loose sleeves, and a belt at the waist, on this day, claims Timeout. They spend the day making offerings of tea, wine, flowers, and different fruits to Zhinu in order to ask for wisdom and have their requests fulfilled. Women would ask the celestial couple for a nice spouse in their prayers, while newlyweds would ask for a child.

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