On 7th day of 7th month in Chinese Calendar, there is a love celebration called Chinese Valentine’s Day. However, the love story is different from Valentine’s day that most people has known of. The story began with a good looking orphaned boy who was poor and living with his older brother. His brother inherited everything from their parents’ death which left him only an old ox to work on the farm everyday. That was why the boy was called the cowherd. However, the ox was not an ordinary ox. He was an immortal from heaven who made mistakes and punished to be an ox in the Earth.
The ox told the cowherd that he was a nice person and his wish to get married would come true if he went to the brook. The cowherd heard him and went to the brook. He saw 7 beautiful daughters of Emperor came down from Heaven and took a bath there. The cowherd was charmed by the youngest and the prettiest daughter. He took her fairy clothes quietly so that the youngest could not fly back to heaven. The cowherd made a deal to her that he would give the clothes back if she want to be his wife. Without any other choices, she shyly agreed to be his wife. They got married and two years later they had two children.
One day, the old ox was dying and asked the cowherd to keep his hide for emergency purpose. The 7th daughter of Emperor was very good at handcrafting. She was called a Weaving Maid for her weaving clothing. The Emperor likes her creation of weaving clouds and rainbow to make the world more beautiful. When she married to the cowherd, the Emperor found that the sky was not beautiful as before. He, then, asked his mother who was the daughter’s grandmother to find and bring her back.
The cowherd was not going to let her go. When his wife was flying back to Heaven with her grandmother, he wore the ox hide and took his children in two bamboos basket and chased after his wife using his wife’s fairy clothes. The grandmother used her hairpin making a milky way in the sky to keep them separated. The Princess was taken to the Star Vega (The Swooping – Eagle), also known as the Weaving Maid Star, in the Lyra (Harp) constellation while the cowherd and his children stayed in the Star Altair (Flying One), also known as the Cowherd Star, in the Aquila (Eagle) constellation. They are only allowed to meet only once a year on the 7th day of 7th Lunar month. Moved by their true love, a lot of magpies gathered and formed a bridge for the spouse to meet in the evening of that day.
People said that it is hard to find magpies on Chinese Valentine’s Day in China. They believed that the magpies was flying to be the bridge for the cowherd and te Weaving Maid. If it rains in the night of the day, the rain is believe to be the tears of the cowherd and the Weaving Maid.
In 2010. the Chinese Valentine’s Day falls on August 26th.