Qixi Jie - The 7th Evening
The 7th day of the 7th month of the Chinese Lunar Calender ( corresponding to July 31st 2006) is known as QiXi ( the 7th evening ) , the Chinese verrsion of Valentine Day. This cerebration of love originated from the Han Dynasty ( 206 BC) based on beautiful epic love story between ZhiNu ( Weaving Lady ) and NiuLang ( Cowheard Boy) passed down from generation to generation. Astronimcally speaking, there will be 2 bright stars separated by a milkyway on the sky at night. And, usually it rains on this day.
In Malaysia, some older generation of Taoists may still be observing this traditional event. As a young boy, I do remembered my mother offer prayer with certain offerings such as fresh flowers, groundnuts, Chinese cosmetic, fresh fruits, etc. and certain ritualistic sequences such as throwing the bundle of fresh flowers to roof top after the prayer.
Chinese has two Valentine's day – One is on the 15th days of the First Lunar month of Chinese lunar calender ( Chap Goh Meh – the 15th Night ), the other is cerebrate on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month ( Qixi ). In malaysia, Chap Goh Meh is still actively cerebrated by most Chinese youth due to its commercialization and cultural awareness. However, for Qixi, it is lesser known and most Malaysian Chinese are not even aware of this Qixi. It is sad that this cultural event is not properly propageted to create more avenue for expression of love. Perhaps, the western's version of Valentine's Day in February are more popular with Chinese youth nowaday due to its successful commercializations and awareness.
To all lovers out there, July 31st 2006 is an auspicious day and another golden opportunity for you to express your love. Observe and cerebrate this day to help to preserve this slowly forgotten Asian's tradition.