The seventh day of the seventh lunar month in China is a romantic time for the Qixi festival, which is now referred to as the Chinese Valentine’s Day. Or, according to a moving, but sad old fairy tale, it’s the time of the year when the weaving maid meets the cowherd on Magpie Bridge.
In the distant past, girls would take this occasion to pray to heaven for skillful hands and a happy marriage, which is why Qixi is also called Qiqiao (day of begging) or Girls’ Day.
This Qixi (Aug 23), the Sanjie Qifang (three lanes and seven alleys) area of the old part of the city of Fuzhou, in Fujian province, will reproduce the atmosphere of a traditional night market, in a Jasmine-themed event, to show Sanjie Qifang’s unique cultural charm to the rest of the country and the world. It will take place in Guanglufang Park, 7:30 - 9:30 pm.
It will also include special lighting effects to represent the Milky Way, and there will be a Magpie Bridge in the Guanglu Square, as well as traditional Chinese folk music, to make the romantic atmosphere more complete.
There will also be packets of broad beans handed out to visitors for free. One local tradition has it that giving broad beans as a gift brings good luck and friendship.
Date: 5 pm-10 pm, Aug 23, 2012 Place: Guanglu Square
Edited by Lin Hong and Roger Bradshaw