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A Good Reason for Romance

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    娆х編鍥藉鐨“鍗曡韩姹”姣忓勾浼氳鍥哄畾鍦“铏”涓娆★紝浣嗘槸鎴戜滑鐨“鍗曠敓姹”鍙槸瑕佹瘡骞磋嚦灏戣铏愪袱娆$殑鍝——闄や簡姣忓勾2鏈14鏃ョ殑鎯呬汉鑺傚锛屾瘡骞村啘鍘嗕竷鏈堜竷杩樻湁涓涓“涓浗鎯呬汉鑺”锛氫竷澶曘

 


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Created by Hallmark and flower shops, St. Valentine’s Day has been well known in Western countries as one of the most important dates for couples. On this day two love birds can express their feelings and treat each other with romantic dinners and night-outs. Besides for the past years St. Valentine’s Day has become the champion for the sheer number of proposals made exactly on this day - it has already even become a kind of clich茅. 
 
 
In China, apart from the Western version of St. Valentine’s Day, there is another reason for the romantic gestures - Double Seven Festival. On the seventh day of the seventh lunar month (August 28th of 2017) Chinese people celebrate an Asian equivalent of St. Valentine’s Day, also known as Qixi Festival. This festival is very important for younger people, especially girls. On this day you can see young couples and teenage girls with flowers, teddy bears and balloons almost everywhere in China.
 
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Because of the tragic yet beautiful story about Niu Lang and Zhi Nu, this day has become a symbol of extraordinary love and great romance.
 
 
There are four main Chinese folk legends about love and one of them is the legend of Niu Lang and Zhi Nu.
 
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As the legend goes, Niu Lang was a horseman and had a very kind heart even if he never knew his parents. For his entire life he lived with his brothers-in-law and was disregarded. One day, after he finally decided to leave his unwelcoming home, he met an old man, who, in fact, was a supernatural being in disguise. He saw how kind and brave Niu Lang was and decided to help him out and led him to the sick cattle from heaven. Niu Lang took good care of the animal, the cow recovered, and, to show gratitude to his savior, introduced him to Zhi Nu. 
 
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But Zhi Nu wasn’t an ordinary girl - she was a fairy from the heavens. Of course, they fell in love with each other and married to live a happily ever after. Niu Lang worked on the field and his wife Zhi Nu used to take care of their house. Later on they were blessed with a boy and a girl and it seemed that nothing could do them apart. But happiness was meant to end when the heavenly king knew about Zhi Nu’s merry life on the Earth and he demanded the fairy to return to the heavens. 
 
 
With the cow's help, Niu Lang along with his two children chased his wife all around the sky in the hope to get her back. Right before he finally reunited with Zhi Nu again, the heavenly king magically created a huge river between them so that they could never be together again. Niu Lang and Zhi Nu cried day and night, tears from the two flowed continuously. Finally the king was moved. But, of course, he couldn't give them what they wanted, but only a one chance to meet per year - he allowed them to meet only on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. 
 
 

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While the customs of this festival vary according to the different regions, the same hope is cherished by all.
 
 
As any ancient festival, the Double Seven Festival has special customs and traditions. One of the most prevalent customs is that of young girls asking Zhi Nu for skillful hands for sewing. Because Zhi Nu is regarded as a beautiful woman whose skills in anything connected with household are brilliant, in the festival’s eve young girls prepare some beautiful sewing or knitting pieces, compete with each other and ask Zhi Nu to grant them more talents. Usually women prepare some fruit and sweet food for Zhi Nu and leave it on the table. As the Festival is tightly connected with romance and love, sweet love is also asked for on this day. 
 
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In rural regions, people usually see the meeting of Niu Lang and Zhi Nu as two stars in the sky. At the same time, old people tell the young about this old love legend. But as people living in big cities tend to somehow neglect their culture, they often forget the legend that started this lovely Festival.
 
 
Do you really need a reason to celebrate love? There should always be some time for romance and expressing feelings to someone special. However, if someone has to have a reason for it, Double Seven Festival is coming and we have to utilize this opportunity!
 
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