Sunday, 27 August 2017

Heavenly lovers

On the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, we remember the greatest love story in Chinese mythology: the cowherd and his fairy princess.

A long time ago, the story goes, a fairy princess - the seventh daughter of a Goddess - descended to Earth and fell in love with a mortal cowherd. They married and had two children

The Goddess was angry and banished the princess back to heaven and forbade her to return to her lover, separating them with a wide river that is depicted by the Milky Way.

But one of the other Gods then took pity on the lovers and decreed that they could meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month. On that day, a flock of magpies would form a heavenly bridge to connect both sides of the celestial river, thus allowing the fairy princess to be reunited with her cowherd.

As the Chinese day formally begins at 11pm every day, my family will worship the Chinese lovers every year at 11.30pm on the sixth night of the seventh lunar month. So it shall be tonight too.

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