The traditions of Chinese Valentine’s Day, or qixi (七夕), trace back to an ancient story of celestial-mortal love.
A cheeky mortal named Niu Lang steals the clothes of Zhi Nü, a heaven-dwelling weaver girl, while she is bathing on Earth. Rather than simply demanding her clothes back, Zhi agrees to stay on earth and marry Niu.
When The Goddess of Heaven discovers that Zhi has abandoned her duties of weaving clouds and rainbows, she is furious, and summons Zhi Nü back to heaven, leaving a distraught Niu Lang on Earth with his two half-mortal children.
With the help of his cow friend’s magical skin, Niu Lang finds a way up to heaven. The Goddess of Heaven won’t let a mortal stay married to Zhi Nü, so she condemns the couple to live on either side of the Milky Way, Niu Lang on the western star Aquila and Zhi Nü on the eastern star Vega.
Taking pity on the couple, on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, the Goddess of Heaven has all the magpies in the world fly up to heaven to build a bridge so Niu Lang and Zhi Nü can visit each other. Legend also has it that Niu Lang and Zhi Nü can be heard speaking to each other through grape vines.
Now learn the 6 traditions of Chinese Valentine’s Day, lest you look a fool in front of your love