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Chinese Valentine's Day (4)

By Lywet (Chinadaily.com.cn)

11:18, October 18, 2011

5. Overhearing the Maid Crying

In the evening, people sat outdoors to observe the stars. Chinese grannies would say that, if you stood under a grapevine, you could probably overhear the Weaving Maid and the cowherd's conversation. If you were lucky enough, they would go on telling you, you could hear the crying of the Weaving Maid.


6. Making Offerings
So many things -- of joy and tears, praise and lament, hope and yearning -- fall on the double seventh. In some areas in China, seven close girlfriends would gather to make dumplings. They put into three separate dumplings a needle, a copper coin, and a red date, which represented perfect needlework skills, good fortune, and an early marriage. But the festival celebrations were not confined to girls. It proved to be a day for all the people, young and old, men and women, to make offerings. It's said if an offering were made for three straight years, the offering, or rather the wish, would come true.

7. Crop Forecast

People also saw the double seventh as an opportunity to tell whether it would be a good harvest year. If the milk river was clearly seen against the sky on the double seventh evening, it would be a good harvest year and people would enjoy crops at a low price.

8. Dolls and Puppets

As early as the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD), dolls and puppets mocking adorable animals such as mandarin ducks appeared on the market around the festival. The pretty dolls, carrying their lucky signs of reproduction and beauty, found themselves quite popular among women.

9. Sun Books

The double seventh usually falls in the early August; in the past time of courtyard-style dwellings, the shining sunlight and cool air of August would voluntarily visit the yards of tens of thousands households. Under customs, ancient intellectuals would take their collection of books out to the open-air yard to give books a complete sunbath.


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