The Qixi Festival - Chinese Valentine's Day

Chinese Valentines Day Qixi Festival Blog by Katrina Liu


Did you know China has its own Valentine's Day called the Qixi Festival or Double 7th Day? This enchanting holiday falls on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month each year and is steeped in ancient folklore and romantic legends.

Let's dive right in and explore the dairy wonders featured in the photos:


Qixi Festival Chinese Valentines Day traditions

The Qixi Festival Traditions Chinese Valentines Day

The Qixi Festival, also known as 七夕节 (Qīxījié) in Chinese, is a fascinating and culturally significant event that takes place on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month in the traditional Chinese calendar. This festival is steeped in history and tradition, and its name alone provides a glimpse into its importance. "七" (qī) means 'seven' or 'seventh,' while "夕" (xī) represents 'sunset(s),' and "节" (jié) refers to 'festival.' Therefore, the festival's name translates to the 'Seventh Sunset Festival.'


The Origin of Qixi Festival 

cowherd and weaver girl qixi festival traditions


The Qixi Festival, also known as the Qiqiao Festival, dates back over 2,000 years. Its origin can be traced to various legends, but the most famous one is the story of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl.

According to this legend, a young cowherd named Niulang (牛郎) fell in love with a heavenly weaver girl named Zhinü (織女), who was responsible for weaving the colorful clouds in the celestial realm. They fell deeply in love and secretly married, but the Queen Mother of Heaven forbade their love. She separated them by creating the Milky Way, which would only allow them to meet once a year on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month when magpies formed a bridge across the river.

The Celebration:

  1. Star-Crossed Lovers: The Qixi Festival's central theme is Niulang and Zhinü's love story. On this day, couples celebrate their love and affection, often by stargazing and wishing for their own romantic destinies.
  2. Magpie Bridge: In honor of the legend, people display pictures of magpies, bridge-building birds, and colorful decorations. Young women traditionally pray to Zhinü for sewing skills and a good husband.
  3. Weaving and Craftwork: Women engage in weaving and crafting activities to showcase their skills, a tradition that harks back to Zhinü's celestial weaving.
  4. Floating Lanterns: In some regions, people release lanterns into the sky or float them on rivers to symbolize the lovers' reunion.
  5. Offerings to Celestial Beings: People often make offerings of fruits, flowers, and other symbolic items to heavenly deities, seeking their blessings for love and happiness.


Contemporary Celebrations

However, in contemporary China, the Qixi Festival has become a day for couples to express their love and affection for each other. Like Western Valentine's Day, it's a time for exchanging gifts, going on dates, and creating heartfelt gestures.

 qixi festival traditions chinese valentines day


Much like Valentine's Day in the West, the Qixi Festival is a time of heartfelt expressions of love and affection, and one cherished tradition is the exchange of gifts. During this enchanting celebration, couples in China exchange various tokens of love, creating beautiful moments of connection and romance.



During the festival, vibrant decorations adorn both streets and homes, while an array of lanterns in diverse shapes and sizes illuminate the evening, conjuring a captivating ambiance.



During this joyous night, people gaze at the stars, believing that Vega (the weaver girl star) and Altair (the cowherd star) twinkle with unmatched brilliance, symbolizing the boundless love between these celestial lovers. It's a time when countless wishes are made, with hopes for love, happiness, and a future filled with unending good fortune.



In addition to the delightful gift exchanges and starry gazing, the Qixi Festival is a time for embracing cherished traditions that spread happiness. These include crafting and releasing paper lanterns into the sky, crafting intricately beautiful flower arrangements, and savoring the tasty delights of festival foods that fill the heart with joy.



In essence, the Qixi Festival beautifully embodies the celebration of romantic love, the profound significance of cherished relationships, and the enduring importance of expressing gratitude to our loved ones. As we immerse ourselves in the enchantment of this ancient tradition, may our hearts be forever inspired by the love stories of the Cowherd and the Weaver Girl, and may we continue to cherish and nurture the love that binds us together.

Happy Qixi Festival! 七夕快乐 (Qī xì kuài lè!)


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