If you haven’t noticed already, we love all things LOVE at Secrets. This week we are particularly excited to be celebrating Qixi, which is also known as the Double Seventh Festival.
On the seventh night of the seventh lunar month, China traditionally celebrates the story of two star crossed lovers- the Weaving Maid and the Cowherd.
The story begins with a simple, kindhearted cowherd named Niulang who lives alone with only an ox to keep him company. Despite Niulang’s poverty and hunger, the ox was well looked after. One day the ox began to talk and explained to his owner that it used to be the star Taurus. The ox was banished to Earth in the form of an ox, for stealing some seeds it was going to give to some men.
Near the cottage Niulang called home, there was a pond where young goddesses bathed. One day the ox convinced Niulang to hide one of the girl’s clothes so that she would stay and be his wife.
Once the group of girls were in the water, Niulang hid Zhinu’s clothes. Zhinu was very well known for her beauty and a very skilful weaver. She also happened to be the granddaughter of the Jade Emperor.
Unlike the other girls, Zhinu wasn’t scared when she saw Niulang. Instead it was love at first sight when Niulang came to give her clothes back and very soon after, the two were married.
Niulang and Zhinu continued to live happily, eventually having twins- Brother Gold and Sister Jade.
Things took a turn for the worst when Zhinu’s other- The Goddess of Heaven found out her daughter was married to a poor mortal. She ordered her celestial soldiers to take Zhinu away.
One day, Niulang came home to two crying children and no Zhinu. The Ox told Niulang to sacrifice his body so that Niulang could use his magical skin. The Ox’s skin would allow the family to go to the heavens and help bring their beloved Zhinu back.
When Zhinu’s mother saw Niulang and his family arriving, she was so enraged she slashed the sky with her hairpin and a powerful river flowed in the heavens. This created Tian He, also known as the Heavenly River which separates the couple.
Eventually, the Goddess of Heaven was moved by Niulang and his children’s utter sadness so she turned them into stars and granted them one night of the year to meet via a bridge made of magpies.
So if you have some spare time this Wednesday (August 7th) run outside to get a sneak peek of the two stars, Altair (Niulang) and Vega (Zhinu). You’ll notice they aren’t separated by the Heavenly River anymore, instead it’s the Milky Way.
August 7th is the closest these stars are together each year so make sure you grab your loved ones and hold them that little bit closer to celebrate the Weaving Maid and the Cowherd. Or even better, show that you care by gifting them one of our gorgeous pieces.