The date 7-7 on the Chinese lunar calendar is known as Chinese Valentine’s Day and in 2010 it falls on August 16th. Also known as Qixi (七夕) and in English, Magpie Festival or Double Sevens, it is a traditional folk holiday celebrated in China and Chinese communities around the world. The story of Chinese Valentine’s Day is a legend of forbidden love between an otherworldly being (Zhinu) and a mere mortal (Niulang). They are separated on every day of the year except the 7th day of the 7th lunar month when they are allowed to meet in the heavens on a bridge of magpies. Read a classic version of the story on ChinaPage.com.
A simplified version of the tale as told to Valentinian:
There were 7 fairy daughters of the Emperor of Heaven, who could visit the Earth but could not stay there and since they were immortal, could not fall in love with any of the humans. These fairies went back up to the sky with special umbrellas. One of the fairies however fell in love with a young farmer and they did not want to be apart, so he hid her umbrella so they could stay together. They had two children and were very happy until the Emperor found out and sent his daughter back up into the sky kingdom. Since she was so sad and wanted to see her family back on earth, they made one special day per year when a Bridge is formed between Earth and Heaven and she can come back across the bridge and visit. This day is the Chinese Valentine’s Day, the 7th day of the 7th lunar month of the year.