Qixi——the Chinese Valentine's Day
Qixi Festival (Double Seventh Festival) is a traditional festival in Chinese areas and some East Asian countries influenced by Han culture. It is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month every year. The festival originated the legend of Cowboy and Weaver Girl(Chinese:牛郎织女) was added to the folk, which has been spread to the present day. Gradually, it became a festival of praying for marriage and symbolizing love. In 2021, Qixi Festival is on the 14th August.
Making Qiaoguo (Fried Thin Pastes) is the most traditional folk activity of Qixi Festival. Qiqiao means "begging for women's cleverness". On Qixi Festival, the girls display Qiaoguo, and begging the goddess can give them intelligent mind and dexterous hands. Qiaoguo is in different shapes with the materials mostly being oil, flour, sugar and honey.
Breeding is actually a fertility belief, in which women express their wish to become pregnant by breeding beans. Also, parents hope that their children can grow up healthy and strong. A few days before Qixi Festival, people will lay a layer of soil on the board and plant corn. When it grows tender shoots, then put some small huts, flowers and plants on it to make it look like a small village. Sometimes people also put mung bean, adzuki bean, wheat and other seeds into a bowl, wait for it to grow buds, and then tie them into a bunch with red and blue threads.
Qixi Festival has far-reaching significance than Western Valentine's day. Lovers get together and commemorate the story of Cowherd and Weaver Girl to deepen and cherish the feelings between each other.