Differences between Qixi festival and Valentine's Day
Qixi, the night of Sevens, sometimes called Chinese Valentine's Day or Magpie Festival, the seventh day of the seventh lunar month is especially for lovers, like Valentine's Day.
On this day, couples go to the temple and pray for their loved one and for a possible marriage. That is the day when Niulang(Cowherd) and Zhinu(Weaver Girl) meet on a bridge of magpie across the Milky Way.
1. On QiXi, a festoon is placed in the yard and single or newly married women in the household makes an offering to Niulang and Zhinu consisting of fruit, flowers, tea, and face powder. After finishing the offering, half of the face powder is thrown on the roof and the other half divided among the young women of the household. It is believed that by doing this, the women are bound in beauty with Zhinu.
2. Another tradition is for girls to throw a sewing needle into a bowl full of water on the night of Qixi as a test of embroidery skills. If the needle floats on top of the water instead of sinking, it proves the girl is a skilled embroideress. Single women also pray for finding a good husband in the future. And the newly married women pray to become pregnant quickly.
3. In some parts of Shandong Province, young women offered fruit and pastries to pray for a bright mind. If spiders were seen to weave webs on sacrificial objects, it was believed the Waving Girl was offering positive feedback.
4. In other regions, seven close friends 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.
5.Young woman in southern China used to weave small handicrafts with colored paper, grass and thread. Afterwards, they competed to pass a thread through the eyes of seven needle in a single breath.