Google Doodle pays tribute to Qixi Festival which falls on the seventh day of the seventh month in the Chinese lunar calendar.

Today’s Doodle (Thursday, August 4th) celebrates the festival which is known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day.

While today is not a public holiday, the day is considered as one of the most favourite holidays because it links back to a romantic legend.

Here’s what you need to know about the festival, including its meaning, traditions and food.

Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images

What is Qixi Festival?

Qixi Festival is a holiday marked in Taiwan, Singapore and other parts of Asia on the seventh day of the seventh month, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.

The festival is related to a romantic legend about the oxherd Niulang and a fairy called Zhi Nu who fell in love despite their differences.

The couple married and had two children but were separated by the queen mother of the heavens, who took her daughter back to heaven.

The queen mother used her hairpin to create a river to separate her daughter from the oxherd, which went on to become the Milky Way between the Earth and heavens.

However, the whole universe felt the couple’s sadness and the queen allowed them to meet one day on Magpie Bridge, which is how the Qixi Festival was born.

How is the festival celebrated?

The festival has been celebrated since the Han Dynasty and has become known as the Double Seventh Festival, the Night of the Sevens and the Magpie Festival.

In honour of the oxen, children pick up wild flowers and hang them on the horns of an ox.

In some areas, one of the most popular traditions sees women thread a needle under the moonlight, prepare traditional dishes and pray to Zhi Nu to fulfil their wishes.

Food and traditions

The Qixi festival is a good opportunity to cherish traditional customs, reconnect with your cultural roots and celebrate the history and heritage of your country.

One of the traditional dishes prepared for the holiday is a dish called Qiaoguo, which is a fried pastry made with oil, flour, sugar, and honey.

Some of the traditional customs sees women spend the day preparing a display of different teas and fruits and read poems until midnight.

In recent years, the Qixi festival has become known as the Chinese Valentine’s Day where couples gift each other flowers, chocolate and presents.

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