If you didn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, don’t worry. At the Qixi Festival, one can also mark the day of love. Celine You’s latest Google Doodle, which features red stamps and depicts a day celebrated in Taiwan, Singapore, and other parts of Asia, is based on a love story.

According to Doodles Archive, it is also known as the Double Seventh Festival, the Night of the Sevens, and the Magpie Festival. It is observed on the seventh day of the seventh month according to the lunar calendar. On this day, singles and couples give gifts like candy and roses to those who spark their amorous interest.

The Qixi Festival’s past

The celebration’s beginnings can be found in the Han Dynasty. Older traditions included flower-hanging ceremonies in honor of oxen, worship rites for Zhinu (one of the festival’s mythological figures), and craft demonstrations.

The festival’s origin story

The fable of the day is about two star-crossed lovers: Zhinu, a weaver and the daughter of a powerful deity, and Niulang, a lowly oxherd. These two fell deeply in love despite their differences. And Zhinu made the wrong choice to remain on Earth, where she carried out her duties as a weaver, got hitched, lived happily ever after with Niulang, and eventually gave birth to a boy and a daughter.

Doodle’s Archive claims that Zhinu was forced to return once the queen mother of the heavens learned about their marriage. To save his wife, Niulang sprang into the air above, followed by their two children. He tried to go to Zhinu, but the queen used her hairpin to make the Milky Way a river between the Earth and the heavens. The queen did, however, consent to allowing the family to reconnect on the double seventh via a bridge of magpies flying over the river because the couple’s agony was felt throughout the cosmos.

On this day, women wear Hanfu, a style of traditional Chinese clothing that features a long, flowing robe, loose sleeves, and a belt around the waist, according to Timeout. They spend the entire day presenting Zhinu with offerings of tea, wine, flowers, and various fruits in an effort to gain enlightenment and have their wishes granted. Women would pray to the celestial couple for a good husband, and newlyweds would pray for a child.

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