A young cowherd named Niulang ( The cowherd the star Altair) happens across seven fairy sisters bathing in a lake. Encouraged by his mischievous companion the ox, he steals their clothes and waits to see what will happen. The fairy sisters elect the youngest and most beautiful sister Zhinv (The weaver girll the star Vega) to retrieve their clothing. She does so, but since Niulang has seen her naked, she must agree to his request for marriage. She proves to be a wonderful wife, and Niulang a good husband. They lived happily and had two children. But the Goddess of Heaven (in some versions Zhinv"s mother) finds out that a mere mortal has married one of the fairy girls and is furious. (In another version, the Goddess forced the weaver fairy back to her former duty of weaving colorful clouds in the sky because she could not do her job while married to the mortal.) Down on Earth, Niulang is very upset learning that his wife is gone. Suddenly, his cow begins to talk telling him that if he kills him and puts on his hide, he will be able to go up to Heaven to find his wife. With tears flowing, he killed the cow, put on the skin and carrying his two children with him and off he went to Heaven to find Zhinv. The Goddess found out he had come and was very angry. Taking out her hairpin, the Goddess scratches a wide river in the sky to separate the two lovers forever (thus forming the Milky Way, which separates Altair and Vega).
Zhinv must sit forever on one side of the river, sadly weaving on her loom, while Niulang watches her from afar and takes care of their two children
But once a year all the magpies in the world take pity on them and fly up into heaven to form a bridge ( The bridge of magpies over the star Deneb in the Cygnus constellation so the lovers may be together for a single night, the seventh night of the seventh moon.
It is said that if it rains on the night of Qi Xi, they are the tears of Niulang and Zhinv crying at the misery of their life.
They said that it芒鈧劉s hard to find a magpie on Chinese Valentine芒鈧劉s Day in China, because all magpies fly to make the bridge for the Weaving Maid and Cowherd. The one thing to prove that is the feathers on the head of the magpies are much lesser after the Chinese Valentine"s Day. If the night Chinese Valentine"s Day rains, the rain are the tears of the Weaving Maid and Cowherd.
The star Vega (Weaving Maid) is the 5th brightest star in the sky. Therefore, it"s very easy to find in the summer night. The size of Vega is 16 times bigger than the Sun. The temperature on its surface is more than 10,000 degrees. The brightness of Vega is 25 times brighter than the Sun. It"s 25 light years away from the Earth.
The star Altair (Cowherd) is the 11th brightest star in the sky. Therefore, it芒鈧劉s not difficult to find in the summer night. The size of Altair is 4 times bigger than the Sun. The temperature on its surface is about 8,000 degrees. The brightness of Altair is 11 times brighter than the Sun. It"s 17 light years away from the Earth.
There are two stars, Alshain and Tarazed, next to the Altair. They said those two stars on Altair"seach side are the Cowherd"stwo children in the story. The distance between the Vega and the Altair is 16 light years. They cannot meet in the sky, as they are too far apart. In the story, there was a magpie"s bridge for Weaving Maid and Cowherd to meet. Do you know the length of that bridge?
What do people do on Chinese Valentine"s day
On the Chinese Valentine"s Day, people in love like to go to the temple of Matchmaker and pray for their love and the possible marriage in China. People still single will do the same thing to ask their luck of love in the Matchmaker temple.
The Chinese Valentine芒鈧劉s Day is also called The Daughter芒鈧劉s Festival. Long ago, Chinese girls always wanted to train themselves having a good handcrafting skill like the Weaving Maid. The skill is essential for their future family. On that night, the unmarried girls may pray for the Weaving Maid star to let them become smarter. When the star Vega is high up in the sky, girls do a test, which is to put a needle on the water surface. If the needle doesn"t sink, then girl is already smart enough and ready to find a husband. Girls may ask for any wish, but only one per year.
In some Chinese provinces, people believe that decorating the flowers on the ox芒鈧劉s horn on the Chinese Valentine"s Day enables to prevent from the disaster. On the night of Valentine"s Day, women wash their hair to give it a fresh and shiny outlook. Children wash their face in the next morning of the Valentine"s Day using the overnight water in their backyards to have a much more naturally beautiful appearance. Girls throw the five-color ropes, made at Chinese Dragon Boat festival, on the roof for magpies. Magpies will carry ropes to build the bridge.