Seven Sisters Festival (七姐誕), also known as Qixi or Double Seventh Festival, is the ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day (along with the Spring Lantern Festival). It is on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, which is usually in August on the Western calendar. It is a common festival in East Asian countries. This year, the festival falls on 27 August 2017.
History of Seven Sisters Festival – the story of Cowherd and Weaver Girl
Seven Sisters Festival originates from the ancient love story of Cowherd and Weaver Girl which dated back to the Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC–256 BC). The legend has several variations. Generally, a mortal cowherd fell in love with a goddess weaver and they got married. The Jade Emperor (玉帝), also known as the Heavenly Grandfather, was very angry about it and then sent some soldiers to take the weaver back to the heaven. The cowherd chased her and flew to the sky. However, the cowherd and the weaver were cruelly separated on either side of the Milky Way. They sadly looked at each other and cried. Their pursuit of freedom and love impressed a magpie. Countless magpies form a temporary bridge across the Milky Way and let them meet with each other. Since then, the mortal cowherd and the goddess weaver became two stars, Altair and Vega, respectively. They could only meet once a year, which is the seventh day of the seventh lunar month.
Seven Sisters Festival – Tradition and Celebrations
As doing needlework was one of the daily routine of women in the past, many women worshipped the goddess weaver in the hope that they could become more skillful and find their Mr. Right. The festival is traditionally celebrated with needlework competitions and young women make offerings to the goddess. The practices evolve over time and the worship is the not only limited to women begging for skillful hands and marriage, it has become a festival of wish-making in broader terms.
In Hong Kong, some young romantics, no matter women or men, make additional offerings at Lovers’ Rock on Bowen Road in Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island. If you are in Hong Kong on the festival day, you may join the crowd and make some wishes. The festival is also celebrated in Ping Chau, an outlying island of Hong Kong.
- Date: 28 August 2017
- Address: Lovers’ Rock, Bowen Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island
How to get there:
Take Bus 15, get off at Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, then walk along Bowen Road for around 30 minutes. You can take the bus from Exchange Square bus terminus (near MTR Hong Kong Station, Exit D); or from MTR Wan Chai Station Exit A3, walk along Tai Yuen Street to the bus station at Queen’s Road East.
Are you going to celebrate Seven Sisters Festival 2017? Please feel free to leave us comments or contact us if you have any questions.
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