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Niulang and Zhinv


Niulang and ZhinvThis is a beautiful story that has been narrated for thousands of years, and also one of Chinese four top folk love stories. For generations, many young men and women are moved too much.

It was said that there was a Zhinv Star (Vega) who was a beautiful girl on heaven and a Qianniu Star (Altair) who was a handsome young man. Both of them fell in love with each other deeply. However, on heaven, the love between gods was forbidden. And their love was finally found by Empress. Zhinv was the granddaughter of Empress. Niulang was punished to fall down to the earth, and Zhinv was penalized to do the non-stop job of weaving the brocade day and night. The job of Zhinv was weaving endless colorized clouds in a marvelous kind of silk, and the clouds changed in accordance with the change of time and seasons. Since Niulang left, Zhinv shed tears all days long and still missed Niulang too much. She worked hard every second as to wish to satisfy Empress and let Empress allow Niulang’s return.

One day, several fairies begged Empress to allow their earth trip in Bilian Pool. At that day, empress had a good mood and agreed them. These fairies also suggested going there together with Zhinv when they saw she was so sad. Empress both could not withstand seeing her granddaughter was so unhappy all the time, and also agreed their suggestions on the condition that they should go and come back as soon as they can.

After Niulang fall down to earth, he was reborn in a farmer’s family. Later, his parents passed away and he lived with his elder brother and brother’s wife. But this couple treated Niulang badly, and separated the family with Niulang. They just gave Niulang an old ox and a broken wheelbarrow. Since then, Niulang led a life with this old ox. They worked hard to assart the wild land and do the farming as well as build their house. But actually, Niulang’s life was isolated and lonely except this speechless ox. In fact he did know this ox was also a god on heaven, and it was Gold-Ox Star. One day, the old ox suddenly mouthed and said to Niulang: Niulang, go to Bilian Pool; some fairies are having bath there, and you hide the red clothes, because the fairy wearing red will be your wife. Niulang was shocked and asked Ox:”Borther Ox, you can speak! Is your word true?”. Ox nodded, and Niulang arrived and hid in the reed of Bilian Pool to wait the arrival of the fairy. In a short time, these fairies flew down and put off their clothes to have a bath in pool. Niulang quickly came out and took the red clothes away. The fairies saw him and suddenly put on their clothes and flew away like bird except the fairy without clothes, and she was Zhinv. Zhinv was worried and shy when her clothes were stolen. At this time, Niulang appeared and let Zhinv be his wife. Zhinv found carefully this young man was indeed her Qianniu star. Hence, Zhinv became Niulang’s wife. After marriage, this couple loved each other and led a happy life; also they had one son and one daughter.

However, Empress was quite angry when she knew this, and appointed the heavenly army to catch Zhinv. On this day, when Zhinv was cooking, Niulang came back and cried to Zhinv that Ox died. Before the death, ox told Niulang to denude his skin, because some day it was needed for flying. Zhinv knew that this ox was God-Ox Star who was demoted to earth just for speaking out some impartial words. They buried the ox well.

Niulang and Zhinv But later, the gales happened. The heavenly army suddenly appeared and caught Zhinv away. Zhinv was very sad and suddenly heard the word from Niuliang:”Zhinv, waiting me!” Zhinv in the sky turned around and saw Niulang shouldering two baskets where their son and daughter sat. Niulang wore the ox skin and flew behind her and her infants were crying aloud. When they almost came together, Empress appeared by clouds. She pulled out hairpin from her hairs and took a draw amid them. A large heavenly river (Milky Way) appeared between this couple. They could not go across any more. This family was separated unconditionally and unreasonably. Zhinv crazily cried on one side, and Niulang together with his infants cried on the other side. They can not meet any more. All the fairies and gods at present were touched deeply, even Empress was also a little bit moved by their love and then agreed that Niulang and his infants can stay on heaven, also they can meet once a year. The meeting day is lunar 7, July.

Since then, both of them lived on both sides of the Milky Way, and they looked at each other from afar. In autumn’s evening, people can easily find tow brighter stars lying in the both sides of Milky River. They are Niulang and Zhinv. And beside Niulang, there are two little stars, which are their son and daughter. On the evening of lunar 7 July, a large number of pied magpies built a temporary bridge with their bodies for this couple’s meeting. It is said that on July 7 every year, people under the grape shelf can hear the heavenly music latently and also hear this couple is affectionately talking.

 

So Lunar 7 July, or Qixi(七夕,Evening of July 7) in folk society becomes Chinese Saint Valentine's Day. It is also one of important Chinese traditional festivals in folk communities. On the evening of this day, the girls would peer at the sky and pray that they could be as smart and skillful as Zhinv, and the young men would hope for a satisfactory marriage and beautiful love like Niulang. This is a story but also the origin of Chinese important traditional folk festival.

 

 

 

 

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