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The Chinese Valentines Day Story




As any Chinese grandmother will tell you, the ancient celebration of true love dates back centuries when Zhinu (織女, Weaving Girl) fell in love with a young farmer named Niulang (牛郎). Sadly, there is a classic complication - our heroine is the granddaughter of the Lady Queen Mother!

Even though the law strictly forbids relationships between mortals and immortals, the rebellious young couple fall in love and eventually marry anyway - when the unthinkable happens. Upon the discovery of their relationship, the Lady Queen Mother forces Zhinu to return to heaven, never to see Niulang again.

Steadfast and true, Niulang refuses to give up. He flies to Zhinu's side (with the help of a magic ox) only to have the Lady Queen Mother step in once again. She uses a hairpin to draw the Milky Way across the sky to separate the couple forever.

And there Zhinu and Niulang remain, separated for 364 days of the year - except for Chinese Valenine's Day - when the Lady Queen Mother takes pity on them by sending a flock of magpies to bridge the gap between the lovers and reunite them.

Today, on Chinese Valentine's Day, school children are asked to search the heavens where Zhinu can be found in the star Vega east of the Milky Way, and for her beloved Niulang, who steadfastly waits for her in the constellation Aquila, west of the Milky Way.

According to legend, on Chinese Valentines Day magpies can scarcely be seen, since they are spreading their wings to form the bridge in the heavens to reunite the couple once again. The evening of Chinese Valentine's Day is traditionally reserved for star gazing, and the classic retelling of the tale of Zhinu and Niulang ....

From: China Custom

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