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 Céline You and decorated with red stamps, is the image of a day observed in Taiwan, Singapore and other parts of Asia and is based on a love story.
The Double Seventh Festival, the Night of the Sevens and the Magpie Festival are other names, 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 gifts like candy and roses with people they find romantically attractive.
The History of Qixi Festival
The origins of the celebration date back to the Han Dynasty. Older customs included demonstrations of crafts, worship rituals for Zhinu (one of the mythological figures in the festival), and ceremonies to hang flowers in honor of oxen.
The legend of the festival
The day’s myth centers on two star-crossed lovers, Niulang, a lowly herdsman, and Zhinu, a weaver and the daughter of a strong deity. Despite their differences, this couple fell head over heels in love. And Zhinu made the unacceptable decision to stay on Earth, where she worked as a weaver, got married, lived happily ever after with Niulang, and eventually gave birth to a boy and a girl.
According to Doodle’s Archive, Zhinu was forced to return once the Queen Mother of Heaven found out about their marriage. Niulang leapt into the air above to save his wife, followed by their two children. However, the Queen created the Milky Way as a river between the Earth and the heavens using her hairpin, preventing her from getting to Zhinu. However, as the couple’s anguish was felt throughout the cosmos, the queen agreed to let the family meet the double seven on a bridge of magpies flying over the river.
Women dress in Hanfu, a type of traditional Chinese clothing with a long, flowing robe, loose sleeves and a sash at the waist, on this day, Timeout claims. 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. The women asked the celestial couple for a kind husband in their prayers, while the newlyweds asked for a child.