The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd
The general tale is about a love story between Zhinu (織女; the weaver girl, symbolizing Vega) and Niulang (牛郎; the cowherd, symbolizing Altair). Their love was not allowed, thus they were banished to opposite sides of the Silver River (symbolizing the Milky Way). Once a year, on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, a flock of magpies would form a bridge to reunite the lovers for one day. There are many variations of the story. The earliest-known reference to this famous myth dates back to over 2600 years ago, which was told in a poem from the Classic of Poetry.
Meeting arcoss the Milky way
The tale is also celebrated in the Tanabata festival in Japan and in the Chilseok festival in Korea. Reference to the story is also made by Carl Sagan in his book, Contact Marking the occasion of the Qixi Festival, Google published several doodles alluding to this tale in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014.
- Brown, Ju; Brown, John (2006). China, Japan, Korea: Culture and customs. North Charleston: BookSurge. ISBN 1-4196-4893-4.
- Lai, Sufen Sophia (1999). "Father in Heaven, Mother in Hell: Gender politics in the creation and transformation of Mulian's mother". Presence and presentation: Women in the Chinese literati tradition. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 031221054X.
- Qiu, Xiaolong (2003). Treasury of Chinese love poems. New York: Hippocrene Books. ISBN 9780781809689.
- Schomp, Virginia (2009). The ancient Chinese. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark. ISBN 0761442162.
- Mao, Xian (2013). Cowherd and Weaver and other most popular love legends in China. eBook: Kindle Direct Publishing.
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