Qixi Festival 2022 – Today’s Doodle celebrates the Qixi Festival, a traditional holiday celebrated in Taiwan, Singapore and other parts of Asia based on a romantic legend. It’s also known as the Double Seventh Festival, the Night of the Sevens and the Magpie Festival. It is observed on the seventh day of the seventh month on the lunar calendar. On this day, singles and couples exchange gifts such as roses and candy with their romantic interests.
The ancient Chinese used to worship stars in ancient times, and noticed Niulang (or oxherd, Altair) and Zhinü (or weaver girl, Vega) met in the sky on the double seventh. The romantic legend is about an oxherd and fairy who fell madly in love despite their differences. In the story, Zhinü decided to stay on Earth without permission and became a weaver girl.
When the queen mother of the heavens learned of their marriage, she forced Zhinü to return. Niulang, with their two children, then flew into the skies above to save his wife before the queen exiled him back to Earth. She then used her hairpin to create a river, the Milky Way, between the Earth and the heavens. The couple’s sorrow was felt throughout the universe. Moved by the overwhelming despair of their separation, the queen allowed the family to meet on the double seventh via a bridge of magpies flying over the river.
Qixi Festival has origins dating back to the Han Dynasty. Older traditions used to include demonstrations of crafting skills, worship services devoted to Zhinü and flower-hanging ceremonies honoring oxen. These traditions have been recognized less by younger generations, who prefer to celebrate in simpler ways. However, the legend of Niulang and Zhinü still has deep roots in the hearts of Chinese-speaking people around the world.
Happy Qixi Festival!
Check out the behind-the-scenes process for
today’s Doodle artwork by Doodler, Celine You
Alt text: A large white cloth is laid out on a table with red stamps of the Qixi Festival Doodle design printed six times in various orientations. A red paint roller is sitting on the left of the stamped cloth.
You can find more about Qixi Festival 2022 on the official Google Doodle Page