Legend has it that every year on the night of the Double-Seventh Day, the Weaving Girl and the Cowherd in heaven would meet at the Magpie Bridge. The Weaving Girl is a beautiful and smart fairy with deft hands and the women in the mortal world will beg for intelligence and deft needle work from her; hence July 7 of the lunar calendar is also called Begging-for-Dexterity Festival. Therefore, the Double-Seventh Day is not merely a Chinese Valentine's Day.

The Origin of the Double-Seventh Day

As China's Valentine's Day, the Double Seventh Festival is the most romantic one among all traditional Chinese festivals, and also a day most valued by girls in the past. Today, it is still one of our favorite festivals undergoing evolvement and innovation based on the traditional culture.

1. Double-Seventh Day originating from nature worship of the human race

According to historical literature, records about Altair (represented by the cowherd in the legend) and Vega (represented by the Weaving Girl) had come into being along with the increasing understanding of astronomy and weaving technology of the Chinese at least three or four thousand years ago. The first star of the Big Dipper is called Kui Star (head star), or kuishou. Later, the one who gained the first place in the highest imperial civil service examination is called "da kui tian xia shi" (literally, great head of the world scholars); and the Double-Seventh Day is also called "Kuixing (head star) Festival", or "Shaishu (Basking books) Festival".

2. Double-Seventh Day was also the product of time worship of the ancients

In the Chinese language, "七" (seven) forms a partial tone with "期" (a period of time); the number "七" appears in both month and day giving a strong sense of time. The number "seven" displays the periodicity of time in the folk wisdom, which usually sets "double seven" as the termination of time. Meanwhile, "七" forms partial tone with "吉", therefore "double seven", carrying the meaning of double auspiciousness, is a lucky day. In Taiwan of China, July is considered as the month carrying happiness and auspiciousness.

3. "Double Seventh Day" is also a phenomenon of number worship

January 1, March 3, May 5, July 7, and September 9 along with February 2 and June 6, altogether seven pairs of date in the lunar calendar, were considered as auspicious days by the ancient Chinese. "Seven" is also the number of the beads in each row of the abacus, romantic and precise, giving a mysterious aesthetic feeling. Furthermore, "七" bears the same pronunciation with "妻" (wife), thus the Double Seventh Day is to a great extent a festival related to women.

Legend about the Double Seventh Day – the Cowherd and the Weaving Girl

The fairy tale of the Cowherd and the Weaving Girl is one of the four most famous folktales of ancient China. It is a classic love story between a fairy and a human being enjoying a widespread influence. The Double Seventh Day is said to have something to do with the fairy tale. Naturally, the seventh day of seventh month of the lunar calendar has become Chinese Valentine's Day.

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