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Thought Everything about Valentine's Day was Beautiful? The Chinese are Reminded that it's Not

2017-08-31 14:48:32 Haley Liu

Chinese Valentine's Day, which falls on August 28th this year, celebrates the romantic folk tale of a fairy and her mortal husband. However, pictures of the couple's statues went viral that day, and they do not look as beautiful as their love story portrays. Chinese Internet users jokingly said that they finally understood why the two met only once a year as per the folk tale. Sina News attracted more than 1600 comments on Weibo for publishing the news.

Qixi Festival, commonly referred to as Chinese Valentine's Day, celebrates a nearly 2,000 year-old legend originating from the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220AD). The story goes that Zhinü, a goddess renowned for her weaving skills, went to the mortal world and married the cowherd Niulang, and soon after the couple had two children. The Goddess of Heaven was against the marriage, so turned them into stars and separated the two with the Milky Way.

The couple's cries touched the magpies, and thousands of them formed a bridge to reunite the lovers. Eventually the Goddess of Heaven relented and allowed the couple to meet one night per year on Qixi, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese lunar calendar.

Beautiful as the fairy tale was, the couple involved may not be so, according to Professor Yu Gengzhe at Shaanxi Normal University in northwest China. Professor Yu posted three pictures of the statues of Zhinü and Niulang on Qixi Festival. He claimed that they are the most authentic looks of the couple, because the statues were placed on each side of Kunming Pond, built on the order of Emperor Wu.

Niu Lang, the mortal husband.

Zhinü, the fairy.

However, the appearance of Zhinü and Niulang astonished many Internet users, and they described them as "primitive" and "awkward". Weibo users “finally understood why they met only once a year".

No wonder they met only once a year.

Ok…so which is which??

They don't necessarily have to meet every year.

But they look like a perfect match.

Can't help but laugh, lol. I can’t bear to look.

Recent years have witnessed more and more young Chinese embrace the traditional festival by spending time and exchanging gifts with their beloved ones. However, Qixi Festival is not the only Valentine's Day that Chinese people celebrate; they also celebrate love on February 14th. Like its Western counterpart, this day of love has become commercialized by vendors, restaurants and hotels.

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