Tian Xian Pei (Chinese: 天仙配; pinyin: Tiānxiān pèi), sometimes translated as Fairy Couple, is a Chinese legend, which existed as oral traditions before any written compilation. It has since become a major subject of several Chinese opera, films and TV series.
The seven daughters of the Jade Emperor travel to the mortal world. The youngest of the seventh fairy maiden was in search of her lost weaving equipment and the " feather coat " - without which she was unable to fly. Another version of story states that the seventh fairy's flying " feather coat " was actually taken by a mortal named Dong Yong on purpose, advised by his cattle - which happened to be an exiled fairy as well and undercover the form of a normal old bull. During the staying the maiden falls in love with Dong Yong, a poor worker who had sold himself into servitude to pay for his father's funeral. With help of the other fairies, the seventh fairy managed to weave ten pieces of brocade for Dong Yong to pay off his debt, shortening his indenture to 100 days. Before the couple can begin their life together, the Jade Emperor orders his daughters to return home, however kind enough to allow the couple reunite only once a year at the 七夕 (the 7th evening) - later known as the traditional Chinese Qixi Festival across the Milky Way.
The ancient Chinese astrologer named two of the observed far apart star 牛郎 (literally 'shepherd man') and 織女 (literally 'weaving girl') - nowadays recognized as Altair and Vega in memory of this story.