The Qixi Festival finally arrived today, but did you know? Qixi Festival is not Chinese Valentine’s Day! Qixi is the “Break-up Day” in the old almanac. Why has it become Valentine’s Day now?

Valentine's Day Trivia: Why is Tanabata not Chinese Valentine's Day?
Valentine’s Day Trivia: Why is Tanabata not Chinese Valentine’s Day?

The Qixi Festival, also known as the Girl’s Festival, originated from the romantic love story of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl in the Han Dynasty. Legend has it that Cowherd is a very hard-working and simple farmer. The Weaver Girl has superb embroidery skills. The mortal women hope to have a pair of hands like her. People in many places beg for skill through sewing and embroidery competitions. The two can only meet once a year on the evening of July 7th. In the old days, people held an activity of begging for cleverness on this day, which was to pray for wisdom from the Weaver Girl.

Almost none of the folklore records about “Qixi” in the Han, Tang and Song Dynasties has anything to do with love. The first volume of Han Liu Xin’s “Xijing Miscellaneous Notes”: “Han Cai women often wear seven-hole needles in the Kaijinlou on July 7th, and they all practice it.” This means that girls in the Han Dynasty often used the seventh day of the lunar calendar. In the evening in the open-breasted building, the five-color silk thread and the seven-holes arranged in a row were used to thread the needle for the moon. At that time, people followed suit. This is the earliest documentary record about the customs of Qixi Festival.

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