Falling on the seventh day of seventh lunar month, the Double Seventh Festival in China is almost equivalent to Valentine’s Day in Western countries. As it’s a day of great importance to girls, the event is also called Young Girls’ Festival. Because of the beautiful legend about Niu Lang and Zhi Nu (the Chinese Romeo and Juliet), the festival has come to symbolize great romance.
While the customs of this festival varies according to different regions, the primary objective is the same. The most prevalent custom is that of girls praying to Zhi Nu for skillful hands in sewing. Because Zhi Nu is regarded as a beautiful woman who is deft at weaving, on the eve of the festival, girls sew articles to compete with each other and prepare some delicious fruits to worship Zhi Nu in order to be endowed with masterful sewing skills. In addition to praying for sewing skills they also pray to receive a love match.
In the rural areas, people usually perceive the meeting of Niu Lang and Zhi Nu as two stars in the sky. At the same time, older people tell the young about this old love legend. Unfortunately, this is not popular in cities nowadays.
Source: The China National Tourist Offices (CNTO) – http://www.cnto.org