My colleague said that it's the Chinese Valentine's Day today (7th day of the 7th lunar month in the Chinese calendar) and here's the fairy tale that inspired their version of heart's day!
Chinese Valentine's Day is on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month in the
Chinese calendar. A love story for this day is about the 7th daughter
of Emperor of Heaven and an orphaned cowherd. The Emperor separated
them. The 7th daughter was forced to move to the star Vega and the
cowherd moved to the star Altair. They are allowed to meet only once a
year on the day of 7th day of 7th lunar month.
The story began from the good-looking poor orphaned boy living with
his elder brother and sister-in-law. After his parents past away, his
brother inherited the house and the land. The boy owned an old ox. He
needed to work on the farm's field with the ox everyday. So he was
called a cowherd. His daily life was just like in a Cinderella story.
The 7th daughter of Emperor is good at handcrafting, especially
weaving clothing. So she was called a Weaving Maid. The Emperor likes
her skill to weave clouds and rainbows to beautify the world.
The ox was actually an immortal from the Heaven. He made mistakes in
the Heaven and was punished as an ox in the Earth. One day, the ox
suddenly said to the cowherd, "You are a nice person. If you want to get
married, go to the brook and your wish will come true."
The cowherd went to the brook and saw all 7 pretty daughters of Emperor
came down from Heaven and took a bath in there. Fascinated by the
youngest and also the most beautiful one, he took away her fairy clothes
secretly. The other six fairies went away after bath. The youngest
couldn't fly back without her fairy clothes. Then the cowherd appeared
and told her that he would not return her clothes unless she promised to
be his wife. After a little hesitation and with a mixture of shyness
and eagerness, she agreed to the request from this handsome man. So they
married and had two children two years later.
One day, the old ox was dying and told the cowherd that he should keep his hide for emergency purpose.
The Emperor found the sky's not that beautiful as before without the
7th daughter weaving clouds and rainbows. He wanted his daughter's
grandmother to find the missing daughter and to bring her back. . While
the 7th princess was flying to the Heaven with her grandmother, the
cowboy wore the ox hide, took his children in two bamboo baskets with
his wife's old fairy clothes and chased after his wife in the sky. The
grandmother made a milky way in the sky with her hairpin, which kept
them separated. The 7th princess was moved to the star Vega (The
swooping - Eagle) in the Lyra (Harp) constellation. And the cowherd with
his two children stayed in the star Altair (Flying one) in the Aquila
(Eagle) constellation. The star of Vega is also known as the Weaving
Maid Star and the star of Altair is as the Cowherd Star in China.
Magpies were moved by their true love and many of them gathered and
formed a bridge for the couple to meet in the evening of the 7th day of
the 7th lunar month, which is the day the Emperor allowed them to meet
once a year.
They said that it's hard to find a magpie on Chinese Valentine's
Day in China, because all magpies fly to make the bridge for the Weaving
Maid and Cowherd. The one thing to prove that is the feathers on the
head of the magpies are much lesser after the Chinese Valentine's Day.
If the night Chinese Valentine's Day rains, the rain are the tears of
the Weaving Maid and Cowherd.