Monday, July 23, 2012

Celebrating Daughter's Day in China

The Star Lovers
by Warwick Goble, 1910
In China, August 23 is known as Daughter's Day and also the celebration of Chinese Valentine’s Day, or the Double SeventhFestival, celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar. The holiday evolved from the ancient Chinese love story, The Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden, also known as the story of Altair and Vega.

The raging river, formed in one version by the Empress as she attempts to keep the lovers apart, also explains how the Milky Way was formed. In some versions the bridge is formed by sparrows, in other versions, the magpie.

  • The Daughter’s Day Festival is an important day for girls. In the evening, they prepare melons and fruits prior to engaging in worship and praying that their wishes for a good marriage will come true.
  • Young girls display needlework, make paper flowers, burn incense and make fruit offerings to the night sky.
  • It is the one day of the year when young girls may request for any wish to the Weaving Maid. (Vega star)
  • When the star is high in the sky, the girls do a test, which involves placing a needle on the water surface. If the needle does not sink in the water, the girl is already smart enough and she is eligible for a married life.
  • Since is it is also considered a holiday of friendship others cook horse beans and share with their neighbors.
  • Girls throw five-color ropes, made by the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, on top of the roof for magpies. It is believed that magpies will use the ropes to build the bridge.

Sources for the above information:


Some tales to help you celebrate the daughter's in your life.

The Legend of the Magpie Bridge
The Bamboo Cutter’s Daughter – Japan 
The Blind Man’s Daughter – Korea 

The Boat that Went on Land and Water – France
Daughter and Step Daughter – Russia 

The Daughter of the Rose – Romania 
The Daughter of the Skies - West Highlands
The Daughter of the Sun – Cherokee/Native American

Earl Mar’s Daughter – England
The Marsh King’s Daughter – Denmark
The Padishah’s Daughter and the Young Slave – Tajik/Iran

The Sea King’s Daughter – Russia
The Star Lovers – Japan (Found on page 65 in _Green Willow and Other Japanese Fairy Tales_, downloadable at the link.)
The Twelve Dancing Princesses – Germany
The Three Daughter’s and the Lost Cow – Tibet
The Tortoise with a Pretty Daughter - Nigeria
The Widow and Her Daughters – Scotland


n preparation for the festival young Chinese girls make paper flowers for the celebration.

Tie Dye Flowers – This cute craft is made with coffee filers.

Tissue Paper Flowers

Weave a Paper Lantern 


Magpies in Nature and Myth

Galaxies Galore


Looking for stories to celebrate the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival?  Click over to this link.

Karen Chace 2012 ©

This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook


storyspace said...

As always anther great article!

Karen Chace said...

Thanks Andrea. You are such a great cheerleader!