Valentine’s Day blossom of Love with Valentine’s Day, Easter and Chinese New Year

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Like in the rest of the world a day is dedicated to love and romance even in China. The Chinese do not celebrate the day on the 14th February rather the Chinese Valentine's Day is celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th month according to the Lunar Calendar that has been chosen for the occasion. Qi Qiao Jie is the local name for the occasion and is also popular as the seven sister's festival and the festival of the double sevens. There are several legends and fables that the Chinese associate with this festival. The best two variations have been mentioned below for you.
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It so happened that during one of the visits to Earth by the seven daughters of the Goddess of Heaven, a young cowherd saw them taking bath by a riverside. Astounded by the beauty of the fairies, and on being encouraged by his pet ox, he silently stole their clothes and hid behind a tree. The elder sisters persuaded the youngest one to go and get the clothes back from the cowherd, Niulang. The youngest sister Zhinu who was also the most beautiful among them all went to Niulang to get back the clothes and also accepted his proposal for marriage. When the goddess of heaven came to know of this she was furious and distanced the two forever. Therefore, both are believed to be sitting on either side of the Milky Way, waiting to meet each other throughout the year. However, it is also believed that once a year, the magpies form a bridge and the two can unite. This is the day of the Chinese Valentine's day.

In China the two stars; star of Vega and star of Altair are believed to be the representations of Zhinu and Niulang respectively.

In the second variation of the Chinese Valentine’s day legends, the emperor of heaven united Niulang and Zhinu on realizing that they were lonely, only to separate them once more after finding them too engrossed in each other and neglecting all work. He therefore made it a rule for them that they could only meet once in a year, on the 7th day of the 7th month of the year. Therefore the Chinese celebrate Qi Qiao Jie as the yearly union of the two.

Chinese valentines day cards are one of the most popular gift items doing the rounds on the day. Images of Niulang and Zhinu are the most common elements of the cards. Several variations of flash cards, animated cards and also post cards are available with all online portals offering Chinese valentine’s day cards. Chinese Valentine’s Day gifts include a wide range of selection. From fortune cookies to flowers, to cards and various other souvenirs, all form great gift options to be given on the Chinese valentine's Day.

Chinese valentine celebrations are a blend of both the traditional as well as the contemporary. A few of the noteworthy Chinese valentine celebrations have been mentioned below for you:

Exchanging of gifts and goodies between lovers
Visiting the temple of Matchmaker
Offering of prayers by the unmarried girls to the Weaving Maid Star
Demonstrating domestic arts like melon carving etc.
Decorating of the Ox's horns.
Watching the movements of the twinkling stars, Vega and the constellation Aquila signifying Zhinu and Niulang respectively.

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