Qixi Festival: What is it and how does it get celebrated?
If we imagine romantic holiday in the UK We probably imagine Valentine’s Day in February.
In China and other parts in East Asia, though, the month of August will surely come to mind , because of the Qixi Festival that is currently being held today (Thursday August 4,) from 2022.
Even Google is participating in the festivities by releasing a traditional design for Qixi substituting its standard logo.
What is Qixi specifically and how does it get celebrated?
What is Qixi Festival?
Qixi Festival is a traditional festival that is celebrated across China, Taiwan, Singapore and in other regions of Asia.
It’s possible to notice that it’s often known as Qiqiao Festival, ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day also known as Double Seventh Festival.
It is celebrated every year, and specifically during the seventh day of the month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar.
The year of Qixi is on the Thursday August 4, and the date is not based on the Gregorian calendar. It falls in 2023 on the Tuesday of August 22 and 2024, on a Saturday in 10 August.
Qixi has been in existence for more than 2500 years and is considered to be a romantic day.
It is a celebration of an annual gathering of Niulang who is a mortal and Zhinu who is the god of weaving who’s love story is the basis of the popular Chinese folktale called The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl.
There are many stories about the event however, the most important thing is that Zhinu traveled across heaven Earth and became infatuated with Niulang and together they had children. In spite of their lovefor each other, their bond was not permitted. To prevent them from being apart, they separated themselves by Milky Way.
Every year only on Qixi the date, can the couple meet, and they do so on a bridge specially constructed by magpies, above the stars.
What do you feel about Qixi Festival celebrated?
In the words of China Travel, there are many traditional customs that are associated with Qixi.
There was a time when females would pray or showcase their embroidery works as well as dye their fingers during Qixi as part of the worship of the weaving goddess Zhinu.
Traditionally, a sweet known as Qiaoguo that is made of flour, sugar, oil and sesame – was consumed. According to the website, it is still eaten in certain regions in Eastern China, such as Shanghai and Shandong.
Others may also be looking towards the sky to find the star Vega that Zhinu represents, and Altair is a symbol of Niulang.
Although there are some traditional festivals for Qixi that are observed, for the majority of people it is considered an occasion for romance.
It’s a chance to bond with your spouse, take dates, exchange gifts, or even get married because many couples select the day for their wedding, in spite of the myths surrounding the date of the separation.