Qixi Festival Traditions in China
Magpie Festival has sometimes been called Chinese Valentine's Day since the late 1990s, which is, strictly speaking, an inaccurate portrait of the festival. Girls traditionally demonstrate their domestic arts, especially melon carving, on this day and make wishes for a good husband.
There are quite a good number of traditions associated with Chinese Valentines Day. According to customs, Qiqiao festival celebrated at the night, girls offer their sewing kits as well as fruit and flowers to the Altair and Vega stars, known as Cowherd Star and Weaving Maid Star in China, to pray for intelligence and smart skill in needlework as well as a marital happiness. Some girls even place needles on the water and if the needle does not sink, the girl is believed to be mature enough to find a husband.
Lovers go to a match-making temple to pray for a prosperous life ahead. In the evening, they spend their time looking at the stars. People believe that this is the time when Vega and Altair come close. So, this is the best time to witness a beautiful encounter. Today some traditional customs are still observed in rural areas of China, but have been weakened or diluted in urban cities. However, the legend of the Cowhand and Weaver Maid has taken root in the hearts of the people. In recent years, Qiqiao Festival is celebrated as a romantic valentine’s day in China particularly among young people. As a result, owners of flower shops, bars and stores are full of joy as they sell more commodities for love. Many people express their love to their sweetheart with gifts, chocolates, flowers and romantic dinners.