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Posts Tagged folktale
In China, the star of Vega is also known as the Weaving Maid Star and the star of Altair is as the Cowherd Star. It is believed that they will meet on a bridge of magpies across the Milky Way once a year. Interested? Let’s appreciate the beautiful story together.
The story goes that there was a poor boy lived with his elder brother and sister-in-law. He was mistreated by them and eventually was chased out with only the company of an old ox. He had to work on the farm with the ox everyday, so he was called a cowherd.
The 7th daughter of the Queen of the Heaven was good at weaving. With her sisters, she worked hard to weave beautiful clouds and rainbows to beautify the world.
The old ox was actually an immortal from the Heaven. He had made mistakes in the Heaven and was published to revive as an ox in the Earth. One day, the ox suddenly opened his mouth and told the cowherd that the Heavenly Weaving Maid and her sisters would bathe in the Silver River. He asked the boy to rob the Weaving Maid’s clothes while she was bathing and then ask for her hand in exchange for the return of her clothes.
The boy followed the ox’s instruction. After a little hesitation and with a mixture of shyness and eagerness, she agreed to his request. They married and had two children later.
They lived a happy life together. However, the Queen of Heaven discovered the absence of the Weaving Maid. She was quite annoyed and had her brought back to the heaven. Luckily, before dying, the ox had left his hide which could take the cowherd fly to the heaven. Seeing her leaving, the cowherd wore the ox hide, took his children in two bamboo baskets and chased after his wife in the sky.
However, when he was about to reach his wife, the Queen pulled off her hairpin and draw a line between them. The line became the Milky Way. They could not reach each other any more. They were only allowed to meet once each year on the double seventh. Moved by their love, magpies gathered and formed a bridge for the couple to meet in the evening of the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, the day they were allowed to meet once a year.
Therefore, the day they meet also became Chinese Valentine’s Day.